• Published 7th Aug 2020
  • 2,109 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!

  • ...

"Time Travel Unravel" - Part 2

Author's Note: Hey everyone! Just like in the last part, the following key will help you navigate through the dialogue - HOWEVER, there are some slight differences this time around. Considering our characters are now stuck in the past, the following will be done.:

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

Regular Text = A statement made from one of the future/present characters or otherwise describing the setting/any current moment. (The time-travellers and their new experiences in the past.)

Italic Text = An internal thought made. (Internal Dialogue)

This way, it'll be easier to read if let's say our main characters run into someone from the past. (Ooooooooo!) Now back to your regularly scheduled story.

Spike felt his heart pound rapidly inside his chest as he frantically navigated through the lonely and exotic wilderness of the Everfree Forest, looking for any traces of a pink mane or a yellow feather in sight.

"Fluttershy?! Fluttershy?!" he cried.

His mind was going a mile a minute. He hadn't meant for any of this to happen. He was just curious as to why the pegasus had taken such a shining to him, he never meant to hurt her by reliving her worst moments.

"Fluttershy?! Where are you?!"

He thought all the negative memories she could've held involving him were gone. He thought she had accepted that the past was long gone and that it couldn't hurt her unless she wanted it to.


But she was hurting, she kept letting certain things bother her after so long - only to hide it under a thin veil of her typical quiet nature for everyone. She kept it from her friends, her family, him.

"Please, Fluttershy. Come back!"

Why hadn't she told him? They've been practically inseparable the past few months - he told everything to her -surely that meant she could trust him with anything. Why did she feel the need to place a burden within herself, yet bury it unless directly confronted? All her friends love and respect her unconditionally, they've supported her through thick and thin, she's grown over the years because of them - so why was this the exception? Why was she hurting herself so much from this? Yeah, it might have stunk before if he had heard her basically recoil at the thought of dragons, but he knew he was different to her - didn't she know that?


But now they were too late. Twilight had unintentionally sent the sweet mare's mind into a frenzy - prompting her to run away in a heartbreaking display from her loved ones. Not only was she hurt by the past, they were now directly in the past - lost and separated. He just wanted to learn more behind his family.... he never wanted this to happen.

The dragon felt his fists shake as tears poured out of his eyes in his stride.


Finally out of breath and energy, the drake defeatedly sat on an open log, staring down at his claws in agony, letting his tears roll freely as he gasped for air.

"What if we don't find her before something bad happens?"

"What if she doesn't forgive us?"

"What if she doesn't forgive herself?"

He breathed out one more time as he surveyed the forest around him in absolute horror.

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." he shuddered - letting the crisp, quiet atmosphere of the woods settle him down for a few more minutes before he would probably opt to continue his search of the nearby area.

He let the exotic calls of the forest fauna fill his ears as his tears soon ceased, leaving room for only the occasional sniffle.

"How are we going to be able to help her?" he thought worriedly.

But then, just as he had finished his train of thought, an all too familiar voice spooked him.

"Oh my goodness.... Spike?! Is that you? What are you doing all the way out here?"

Spike's eyes lit up. "No. No way. It's too good to be true."

He quickly looked around to discover a butterscotch pegasus with her traditional pink mane and tail (albeit with slightly red puffy eyes) slowly waltz her way over to him, her eyes shimmering with concern.

"It is her!"

He swiftly found himself stepping off the log as he ran excitedly to the pegasus, tackling her in an affectionate embrace.

"Fluttershy! Thank goodness we found you! I know you're probably upset right now, but I've been looking everywhere for you - in fact I'm sure Twilight and Starlight are probably searching too."

However, something didn't seem quite right here. He felt the pegasus awkwardly pause in the embrace, making him slowly exit himself out of the hug to glance up at the mare. As he looked up at her, he knew something wasn't right. Instead of a cozy blush or a smile, he found... a hesitant arch of the eyebrow?

The mare shyly tilted her head at the dragon's now equally puzzled expression.

"Umm... who is Starlight? And, shouldn't you be with the others watching the migration?"

Instantly, the dragon's eyes widened to the size of dinner plates. This wasn't the right Fluttershy, this was...

"Uh-oh. Not good. Very, very not good." No pony from the past was supposed to see them.

Now, he had two options - he could either run and hope she didn't follow or he could try to explain himself.

"And... are those wings?!" she gasped, "...since when do you have wings?"

Scratch that, he had three options - he always forgot about flying.

The dragon gulped, trying to mull over his options. Unfortunately, this somewhat new pony was not making it easy.

"Spike? Is something wrong? Do you want to talk about it?"

No, not that motherly concern on her face. He had grown to love and trust that face so much over their present's newfound time together. He couldn't abandon or lie to this face, it was simply impossible. While this Fluttershy may not have realized it, she found his weak point.

With a heavy reluctant sigh, the dragon moseyed on over back to his sitting log, motioning for the pegasus to join him, which she did without a second thought as she sat mere inches away from him.

"All right, here we go. Hopefully Twilight and Starlight can fix any time paradoxes later..."

"Ok. What I'm about to tell you is probably going to sound crazy and impossible to you, but here it goes. I'm... not your Spike."

The pegasus rose an eyebrow as she eyed him over.

"Wh-what do you mean by that?"

The dragon twiddled his claws for a moment, conjuring up his next response.

"I'm...actually from the future. I came here with a future you, Twilight, and Starlight - (Twilight's student, you're going to be her friend one day...)" he added with a slight smile before turning serious again, "We used a time-travel spell to explore this past memory, but we got separated and now one of us is lost in here." he added, wincing slightly as he judged his guest's reaction.

Thankfully, the kind mare didn't outright scoff or dismiss him, but he could tell she was skeptical at best.

"I... Is this a prank? Did Rainbow Dash put you up to this?" she tilted with a slightly narrowed look.

Well, he should've seen this coming, but still, how could he prove he was telling the truth? If only he could say something that...

Then a bright flicker in his mind gave him an idea.

"If you don't believe me, I know your dream is to one day build an animal sanctuary despite the fact that you haven't told any of the girls yet."

The pegasus's reservations immediately left her face as she gawked at him.

"B..but... that's... impossible... and... you..." she stammered.

"And despite your claims that Chamomile is your favorite tea, you've been slowly developing a fondness for Chrysanthemum."

She backpedaled even more.

"Y-yes...but....how did... Wait, are you really...?" she suddenly pointed towards the wings currently folded alongside his back.

With a smirk, the dragon opened his wings, allowing for the pony to touch them.

"And these? Totally real."

After a minute or two of moving and prodding his wings - finding them attached to his spine and feeling the authenticity of them - she finally let out a bright, shiny, grin before surprising him with her own embrace.

"It's true! You are from the future! Oh my goodness! You have wings in the future, that's wonderful news! That's so incredibly amazing, I-I just don't even know what to say!"

Spike felt himself blush from the hold before a saddening thought returned.

"Just like my Fluttershy." true, he noticed this pony was a bit more anxious than his, but without all those years of confidence-building under her belt, it was to be expected. Still, if there was any doubt in his mind that this was an impostor, her gentle hugs and the way her motherly excitement echoed in her voice quelled any doubts.

After a while of constant coddling and fawning, the pony seemed to notice his disheartening look as she slowly released him before stepping in front of him.

"Spike? Is something the matter? Is this about one of your...our - sorry, this is confusing - friends being lost?" she prompted with her soulful irises staring at him.

The dragon sighed again, knowing he especially couldn't escape now.

"Yeah, it is... but, I don't want you to worry. Technically, I'm not even your Spike."

The pegasus regarded his response, before she placed a comforting wing on his back.

"It doesn't matter to me whether you're my Spike or not, you're still my friend and I want to help you... that is, if you want me to." she gently shied at the end with a light blush.

Spike couldn't help but give an odd smile at the caring pony in front of him.

"Well, she wasn't lying about being nervous to confront me. Still, if I allowed myself to talk to and open up to her earlier, then could we have...?" but he mentally shook his head no, disregarding the fact. "...doesn't matter, what happened happened, not matter what the 'what if's' are. But, if she is wanting to help..."

"Sure. Take a seat though because some of the things I say may shock you."

Taking her seat, she politely rubbed her hooves together. "Oh, believe me. I'm already shocked. I'm actually surprised I'm doing fine with this so far. Futures, and wings, and..."

Spike allowed himself a chuckle once he realized her rambling stopped.

"You and me both." a grateful smile returned towards him.

"Alright so, the friend who is lost, well... it's you."


"Yes. Well, future you anyways."

The pegasus nodded, allowing him to continue. He didn't want to scare her with the 'mother' stuff right away, but he made sure to give her enough context.

"She and I - we've been really getting along lately, but I wanted to know how our relationship began, so Twilight and Starlight gathered us and sent us to different points in the past - well some of those are still your future - to gain a greater clue as to why I mean so much to you."

After that last sentence, the pegasus quickly directed her head away from him, a thick crimson covering her face.

"Ah, so she does know about the family thing, or at least her share of it. I'll have to check back on that."

"But Twilight also noticed something was troubling her - some past experience that she kept trying to run away from."

"Oh, dear!" she gasped, "Something I did?!"

"Hmm mmm. And that was today. We... sort of heard what you told Rainbow and Twilight - about not wanting to take part in the Dragon Migration watch." he rubbed his claw to the back of his head, fearing how her past self would react to the recent trauma.

Expectantly, she was quite shocked. With a trembling hoof over her mouth, processing what she had said, she finally let out a squeak. The recent moment hadn't occurred much in her mind - other than the fact she wanted to run as far away from the others as possible. But now, as she had the time to contemplate with the friendly little guy in front of her, she felt her heart break.

"Oh no oh no oh no! I- I said... I... I yelled and ran because.... When you are.... Oh no oh no oh no!" cried Fluttershy as she slowly had tears falling down her muzzle. "How could I...."

Spike instinctively reached out and draped the pony in a nice side hug.

"Hey hey hey! Please, don't cry. It's ok. I don't blame you, you were just scared. That's what I told her anyways..."

The pegasus sniffled as her sobbing form stared at the dragon.

"It's -it's not ok! I shouldn't be scared! You're my friend and imagine what would've happened if you actually heard me! Scratch that, it's WORSE! The way I feel about you and I say THAT about your species, how COULD I?! I say that when I lo..." she suddenly paused as she turned her head away again, her hooves covering up her crying face.

Despite probably should've expecting this, Spike was completely floored, realizing what she had almost let out.

"She DOES feel that way. She... she..."

Using his claws to retract her hooves from her face and lifting her head so she could make eye contact with him, a soft smile brushed on his face as he prodded lightly.

"...because you love me?"

Though she was quite startled by the question, she lightly nodded her head in confirmation.

The dragon then began placing his head within Fluttershy's soft, fluffy chest - initially surprising the pegasus - but that jump quickly faded as she soon took to wrapping her wings around him and nuzzling his soft, scaly head.

The drake immediately snuggled up to the contact.

"This is just like her too. If I had comforted her like this then... no, stop it Spike! There's plenty opportunities for hugs now!"

"I know you're probably upset and a little embarrassed right now, but mind if we talk while like this?"

The mare flashed him a bright smile through her teary, though less rampant, eyes.

"I'd like that."

He decided now was a good of time as any to drop the big truth.

"Can't reveal too much of the future though. That could damage things."

"The other reason why I think my Fluttershy got so upset. You see, I don't want to give away too much, but let's just say a major event made me question whether the other elements loved me like Twilight does."

He felt the mare's grip around him tighten, motioning his head with her hooves so he was meeting her bewildered face.

"Spike! That's terrible! Why would you ever think that?!"

Spike however opted to bury his head back into the wall of fluff.

"Let's just say there were times in your past, present, and near future that you girls either left me behind on one of your many adventures, or there was a major component where I felt you didn't care."

He felt her body stiffen.

"And, let's just say that the first day we met was the extent of our conversation history for a long while." he grimaced, knowing she wouldn't take too happy to that particular news.

He felt the sniffles reignite.

"Spike, I... really?" she asked pitifully, almost making Spike's heart stop despite his inability to see her most-likely crushed face at the moment.

"But it all ends up ok though. There's a good ending to this." he quickly reassured.

He felt the sniffles stop as she peered down at him.

"A-a... good ending?"

"Yeah!" he happily exclaimed, finally releasing himself so as to show the mare his genuine smile.

"Then, Twilight sent me on this journey to bond with each of you girls and you all revealed you wanted to be my family. Rarity's my sister, Pinkie Pie's my aunt, Rainbow and Applejack and her family are cousins, and you..."

He gently hugged her upper half.

"...you're the best 'second mother' anyone could ask for."

He was expecting her to let out a faint squeal of surprise or to nearly drop back in shock - any kind of a reaction to such big news. But as seconds ticked by with no response, he decided to check and see what the pony was thinking.

However, as he looked upon her, he would've never expected what he saw.

Her eyes sparkled like diamonds as her jaw hung loose below her chin. Her wings graced him in their full wingspan as her whole body began to tremble. Though what was most odd though was the ghost of a smile tugging at her lips.

"I...I get to be a mommy?" she breathed.

He nodded.

"A... a mommy? And you get to be my son?"

Another nod.

"I...I finally told you..."

Assuming at what she was referring to, he gave one more nod.

Then, suddenly a new fresh wave of tears came, though with the biggest brightest smile on her face as her body trembled in silent joy.

"I finally get to be a mommy! I get to be called a mother! And I got to give you another loving parent. I...I'm a mom!" she happily chirped, sending him into the biggest bone-crushing hug he had ever been a part of (and he had been hugged by Harry the bear).

Now his heart had officially shattered. This mare in front of him had the happiest, most carefree expression he had ever seen on another living pony - including Pinkie Pie. And it was because she got to be a mom? His mom?

"But why would that?... wait." he pondered.

All of her friends, including him, knew that Fluttershy, her kindred soul and nurturing presence, was the most 'motherly' out of all of them. The way she always worked her hardest to make her friends feel better, the way she tended to her animals every single day, the way her kindness would touch even the darkest spirits.

She would definitely make a fantastic mother - even without himself as proof - but...

He always imagined her being satisfied with the raising and caring of nature's woodland creatures surrounding her home (and life) like a bunch of dragons to a shiny gem, but what if she wanted more? What if she wanted to feel the gift of properly raising something from a young age and care for it like it was her own flesh and blood? Sure, she could do that with the animals, but they tended to wander off when she was done treating them.

"She.... she really wants to be a mom... she wants to love and care for someone..."

"But why was she so happy to be mine? And why would she be so scared about the 'Migration' thing?"

As Spike began ready to voice his questions however, he took another look at the blissful and tender appearance of this sweet, sweet pony in front of him. She looked so radiant, that smile that could warm up the world. Perhaps those questions could wait a little longer.

Come to think of it in fact, maybe if he could use this Fluttershy's newfound revelation and joy, he could coax the answers out of his Fluttershy and effectively help her let go of the burden she was carrying. If they knew what exactly made her so happy and then so fearful at the prospect of him, she could be helped. Win-win.

"I feel the same way about you, Fluttershy. I really do. You have so much love in that heart of yours."

The pegasus graciously beamed at him with a wide, quivering smile.

"But the same reason you're so happy about being my mother is also the reason why my Fluttershy basically ended up in a nervous breakdown after she relived her migration speech." he frowned.

While the smile immediately vanished from her lips, he supposed it was a good thing she seemed to have an understanding of what the issue was, tensing up with a fearful frown on her face.

The dragon laid a gentle claw on her shoulder.

"Do you think you know the reason why she'd be so upset - involving that and perhaps some of the other stuff I hinted at?"

Still looking like she saw a ghost, she quickly nodded her head yes.

"Listen, I know we kind of technically just met and that this 'future' thing is pretty freaky, but do you think you might be able to help me out with my Fluttershy? Maybe if she had someone... well, herself... know exactly what she's going through, we could help her confront that issue. I wish she'd tell us, but right now it doesn't look good."

The past Fluttershy shook her head sadly.

"I fear it's a very personal issue. Knowing me, she probably isn't comfortable sharing with anyone else. She's probably worried it'll change how you see her."

The dragon nodded sympathetically, raising a claw to his chin.

"I suppose you're right. Still, it's kind of weird..."

"What?" she asked.

He smirked as he looked at her.

"You've grown a lot over the years. You're still the sweetest, kindest pony I know..."

She gave an appreciative blush.

"...but you're a lot more confident know. You can talk to others easier, you've worked on your goals, you've gone through so much... I guess it's just sad to see her not trust us with something."

The pegasus dabbed an eye with her hoof.

"Th-thank you. That's really nice to hear. But, I wouldn't be offended, this... um... this is something that like I said is very personal... If we do this, you have to promise you'll be there for her no matter what."

He chuckled politely. "Cross my Heart, Hope to Fly, Stick a Cupcake in my Eye."

Her eyes widened at the familiar guarantee before she nuzzled him quickly.

"Perfect. Let's say we start looking for me... her...?"

They both started laughing as they headed into a different direction of the woods.

Despite his initial worries of coming into contact with a past version of his beloved friend and mother, her same personality (even though she was more timid) had instantly won him over - in fact, he could already tell she was relieving alot of her anxieties with him as well, opening up to him so much in just a short amount of time. He felt like he had her again with him, but he knew there was his special pony out here somewhere, waiting for him. Still, he was very thankful he had run into her out of all possible options.

"Hopefully we can find Twilight and Starlight along the way. I have a feeling you'll love them."

"Fluttershy! Spike! Where are you?!" Starlight yelled, she and Twilight currently searching every crevice they could possibly check in the forest.

They've been searching for what felt like hours now, though they could be wrong and just feel like the pulse-pounding rescue was taking hours in their heads. Still, this was not good. No sign of either of the two yet and they were still stuck in a past that could haunt them.

"Guys?! Where are you?!" Starlight pleaded, her eyes watered with worry.

As she continued pleading and calling however, she noticed a loud sob next to her. The alicorn not only looked miserable, she looked devastated. Her whole body was itching while her eyes alternated between open and wailing and clenched shut. Her sniffles overwhelmed the unicorn's senses, making the mare pause her search as her stomach lurched at the sight of her friend.


"This is all my fault. I just wanted to help Fluttershy. I-I didn't mean for her to... What was I thinking?"

"Hey hey. Stop that." she lightly chastised the princess. "This isn't your fault. None of us knew her reaction was going to be that extreme."

"YES IT IS!" she yelled, making the unicorn flinch.

"I made her watch a moment she constantly regretted. I-I was just trying to help her, to show her that she needed to accept it since she's stronger than that - but I didn't. Now she's off crying somewhere thinking she's a horrible pony! And Spike... what if those two don't get along again, what then?!" she blubbered.

The unicorn watched her lavender-colored friend break down in pity before a sudden strong feeling welled up in her chest. Something that reminded the unicorn of herself. Something this pony needed to hear.

With a sudden narrowing look, she grabbed Twilight's face with her hooves, peering directly into her large pupils.

"Twilight, no! Don't think that! What you've done may have not been the best plan, but it's a lot better than the alternatives!"

Starlight freezed for a moment as she let out a shaky sigh, letting go of her friend as stared at the treetops above.

"Trust me when I say that she needed to confront this! Part of it may hurt forever, but she needs to accept it! If she keeps trying to push herself and conceals it, it's going to be worse than any hurt or pain she's facing now."

The unicorn looked back at her friend with a weary glance.

"If I had been able to properly deal with Sunburst leaving so long ago, I wouldn't have created the cutie mark village, I wouldn't have tried to stop the Elements of Harmony, I wouldn't have wasted so much of my youth in vindictive rage."

Twilight's eyes enlarged, knowing well Starlight's past tended to be a sore spot.


The unicorn allowed a small smile to escape.

"It's ok. It still hurts, it will always hurt a tiny bit. But now that I have friends I can confide in, that pain doesn't bother me - it's manageable."

A serious frown returned.

"But I know from experience that the mind isn't built to endure intense suffering for so long. If she had kept allowing these thoughts to build each time it was mentioned or she was with Spike, who knows what could've happened."

The princess's now puffy eyes dimmed in understanding.

"I just didn't want her to suffer any longer. I've met plenty of ponies who've let experiences haunt who they are - Luna, Tempest,... you."

Starlight's eyes softened as she wrapped her friend and mentor in a hug.

"I know the situation is bad right now, and yes, we all made mistakes here. But, honestly I'm not sure if there's too much 'right' in this situation. She may be hurting now, but it's better than her reaching her breaking point. At least now, when we find her, we can be there for her and Spike in anyway we can - we can help her forgive herself. What you did may feel like the bad choice, but it could be the best possible option later if you understand me?"

Twilight gave off a warm smile as she nuzzled the unicorn appreciatively.

"Thanks, Starlight. I'm glad you came along. Do you think we can help her?"

Starlight lightly nudged her shoulder.

"You all helped me - and I thought I was a lost cause. I know we can. Like I said, the regrets she may have may never fully go away, but she can move on from them - she can accept that they happened and focus on the present."

The alicorn offered a thoughtful smile before it contorted into pure contemplation.

"I just hope we can find Spike and Fluttershy soon."

And just like that, a familiar scratchy voice made them jolt.

"Twilight! Starlight!"

The two mares swiftly turned to the direction of the voice to discover their wish had been answered. Running towards them with smiles on their faces were the dragon and pegasus they had been searching for.

Twilight found her mind pause before she instinctively trotted towards the pair with thankful tears in her eyes. They were safe!

"Spike! Fluttershy!"

The alicorn tackled the dragon to the ground in an overbearing cuddle.

"I'm so glad you're alright! I was so worried!"

She then turned to acknowledge the pegasus who looked... surprised?

"Fluttershy, I know I caused you to relive what happened and I'm so, so sorry. I was just..."

"Twilight?! Is that you?! Are those... are those wings?! Does everyone grow wings in the future?

The alicorn and the now caught up unicorn both gaped at the presumed familiar face, their eyes glistening with sheer horror.

"Spike..." Twilight squeaked, not moving nor taking her frightened eyes off the pony in front of her. "...why did she say that?"

The dragon nervously chuckled as he glanced over at the pegasus who was now entranced with the alicorn's appendages, prodding them with a curious hoof.

"Heh, heh. So... this is a bit of a story."

The four creatures, now sitting down on a group of rocks thankfully nearby, were just finished summarizing what they knew about the situation in front of them.

"So let me see if I got this straight, this is the Fluttershy from this time period and after you explaining the dilemma to her, she thinks she knows what's bothering future her and you think she can help us?" prodded Twilight, gesturing back and forth between the two creatures across from her.

"Yeah, basically." Spike said with a sheepish grin.

"Spike! This is not good. We weren't supposed to interfere with the past!" she lightly scolded.

"Ummm... excuse me." a timid voice brought up. "In his defense, I was the one who found and confronted him, so I wouldn't say it's his fault."

The alicorn roughly sighed as her eyes softened.

"I know. I'm sorry, it's neither of your faults. I'm just not sure how we can keep the future intact..."

"Actually, Twilight." Starlight interrupted, "There is a way we can keep the timeline stable but..." she trailed off, winking nervously at the mare next to her. At first she didn't seem to get what she was referring to, but after a moment of concluding what she meant, the alicorn gave a somewhat sullen, but understanding nod.

"But that's enough about that for now. I'd say as long as we make sure she's the only one we run into, we'll be fine. Besides, she could help us out here." concluded Starlight now looking on with a smile at the slightly nervous pegasus.

"O-oh. Thank you... Starlight was it?" she shyly grinned.

The unicorn gave a firm nod.

"Yep, that's me. Princess Twilight's pupil and guidance counselor for the School of Friendship."

"STARLIGHT!" Twilight yelled, exasperated.

"What?! She should be fine with a little leeway after all..." she winked at the princess again, making the pony's disposition falter slightly with another nod.

The pegasus gasped, a look of bewilderment etched her face.

"P-p-p- princess?! TWILIGHT'S A PRINCESS?!?!"

"It's how she got the wings after all." the dragon sagely responded with a wry smirk.

"O-o-oh dear. Forgive me, your highness." the pony instantly bowed as a form of respect, much to Starlight's secret amusement and Twilight's chagrin.

"Umm... Fluttershy? You don't need to bow, Twilight's still your best friend. In fact she kind of hates the whole 'treated like royalty' thing most of the time." the dragon guiltily informed.

"Oh... I'm so sorry. Umm..." she stuttered.

"Just talk and act like she's unicorn Twilight." Spike suggested.

"She may be a princess, but she still has the biggest book collection you'll ever see." winked Starlight - this time with a smile - thankfully putting the nervous pegasus at ease as she displayed a stifling giggle, thankful there was still familiar ground with this new Twilight.

The princess merely rolled her eyes with a slight smirk.

"Ummm... but what is the 'School of Friendship'?"

Twilight eagerly decided to take the initiative on this one.

"Well, our friends and I decided to build a friendship school in Ponyville. In some of our spare time, we teach all sorts of different creatures from around the world the virtues of friendship."

The pegasus's eyes sparkled in fascination.

"All sorts of creatures? Not just ponies?"

"Oh yeah!" Spike affirmed, "And they're all super nice! We've got a few dragons, some yaks, some griffons, hippogriffs, changelings, all sorts of creatures..."

The pegasus's intrigue immediately vanished as she took a fearful lean back.

"...d-dragons? g-griffons? ch-ch-changelings?"

"Don't worry, the ones at our school are all super friendly. You and the others have actually done well with reforming and making allies with many of the other kingdoms." the unicorn reasoned, much to the pony's relief.

"That does sound nice...being able to share friendship... I suppose it's something I'll look forward to." she offered with a grin.

"Diversity in Equestria has certainly improved." Starlight agreed.

"I'm sorry. I hate to interrupt catching you up and all, but I think we should start looking for our Fluttershy soon." Twilight offered with a slight blush.

"Oh, right!" the drake exclaimed, turning his attention back to their new friend. "I don't suppose you know of any hiding spots she may have in this forest, do you?"

At this, she rubbed her hoof to her chin in thought before her mind suddenly sparked.

"Actually... I do have one hidden canopy in here that I go to whenever I'm really upset. We could try there."

"Perfect! Then let's all go...actually, before we do. I just realized - it's going to be awkward calling you both 'Fluttershy'." he noted with slight hesitation.

"Hmmmm... he's right. Perhaps we can give you a nickname for now?" offered Starlight.

The pegasus thought deeply for a moment before she suddenly found her coat to be a source of inspiration.

"Well, how about 'Buttershy'?"

The trio smiled as they all nodded their heads in approval.

"I like it!" complimented Twilight. "It suits you."

The mare blushed as she awkwardly rubbed a hoof on the ground. "Th-thank you."

"Alright, it's settled. Let's go get back Fluttershy!" Spike declared, gesturing for Buttershy to lead the way.

"And I can answer any of your questions along the way!" Starlight patted the pony's back.

The dragon and alicorn merely looked at each other with a burning sense of dread.

"Poor Buttershy." they thought, closely following the other two.

"...and so that's why you and Discord have tea every week, any questions?" a subtly smug Starlight asked the now frazzled mare beside her.

Buttershy addressed two sympathetic creatures behind her.

"S-she's joking right? There's no way I reformed Discord...right?"

Twilight and Spike merely glanced anywhere but directly at her.

"W-w-wait. So... we're actually friends then?"

Another awkward exchange - though this time the dragon did offer a slight nod as confirmation.

"Maybe more if you play your cards right." snickered Starlight.

"O-oh my..." she suddenly whispered, turning a lighter shade of color.

"We shouldn't have let Starlight talk to her..." Twilight bitterly thought.

Though her thoughts immediately subsided as the group began to hear a low form of sniffles coming from somewhere nearby. In fact, these sniffles sounded very familiar, almost as if they were...

The group's eyes all lit up at once. Fluttershy.

"Pssst. The canopy is right there." Buttershy pointed towards a grove of trees that indeed had a little nook with a leafy ceiling on top. As they slowly waltzed closer, they could hear the sniffles become more audible. She was in there!

With a claw to his lips - indicating to the others to keep quiet - the dragon slowly tiptoed over before he quietly opened a part of the canopy, revealing a puffy-eyed, but much more relaxed pegasus.

"Mom!" Spike hastily called with a quivering smile, catching the mare's attention.

"Sp-Spike?!" she lowly whispered before she proceeded to jump out of the awning and embrace the small creature with all her might.

"SPIKE!" she happily exclaimed, sending a round of kisses to the dragon's head. "I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to take off like that! Oh, I'm just so glad you're ok!"

Buttershy felt her face heat up, though a wide smile still took control of her facial features.

"Me?!" the dragon incredulously cried as he hugged the pegasus harder. "I was worried about you - we all were! You just took off without a trace! We were scared we'd never find you!"

"I'm especially sorry!" Twilight made her presence known as she carefully trotted over to the reunited duo. "I didn't mean to send you into a breakdown! I-I just wanted to help you, I knew something was bothering you, but I---"

"Shhh... it's alright." the pegasus lightly sniffled as she wrapped a hoof around Twilight's frame, still holding Spike.

"I was just really upset is all. I didn't mean to get so mad - I... I just couldn't take it any more. I needed some time to calm down." she gently explained, giving Twilight a warm smile.

Twilight however seemed to be concerned at the pegasus's sudden change in demeanor.

"R-really? You... you're not still upset, about..."

To her and Spike's surprise, the pegasus's face switched to a look of fear for the slightest of seconds before she plastered back on a grin.

"Nope, everything's ok now. Let's go home." she all too quickly shot up, trying to make her exit.

The alicorn and dragon worriedly looked at each other before rushing over to Fluttershy.

"No, you're not!" Twilight countered. "We need to talk about this. You're clearly trying to hide it for some reason, but what happens when you start thinking about it again? I won't replay that memory for you again, but we DO need to discuss this."

Fluttershy swiftly turned around with a firm, pleading frown.

"Twilight, please. Not now."

Now it was his turn.

"No, Fluttershy! You say 'not now' but when will it be?"


"Something's affecting our relationship and I don't know why. I thought we had no fears between us, but I was wrong."


"Look, I know you may not trust us with whatever this is. But we're always here for you, no matter what. So, please?"

A tear fell down the pegasus's cheek as her hooves shook just a tad.

"No Spike! It's not that I don't trust you - it's that it hurts too much! I've made a lot of mistakes between us, but seeing me turn around and run because of some 'big, scaly, fire-breathing dragons', it makes me so upset that I could ever say that about you. You weren't there but what if you were? On top of the times where I was too afraid to talk to you or whenever we forgot about you on a mission, it just reminds me of how unintentionally horrible I was to you."

More tears began to fall.

"I blame myself for that because that was the pinnacle of my carelessness. It hurts me so much to think I would even say or think those things, because...."

She gave a furlong sigh as she wiped an eye.

"...well, no one really knows."

"But I do."

At that, everyone's heads turned around to see a skittish looking Starlight, but more importantly, a sickly sweet and understanding Buttershy as she slowly waltzed over to the now shocked pegasus with a welcoming warmth surrounding her.

"I....I....I...." was all poor Fluttershy could stammer.

"Fluttershy, meet our new friend." the dragon introduced quietly.

Buttershy laid a soft hoof on her future self's shoulder as she gave her a firm hug.

"Nice to meet you...uh... me. I've heard alot about you. You have some amazing friends here."

Fluttershy couldn't find any words to say. How could she? There was... her openly hugging her with that same caring passion that she constantly gave to others. It was such a surreal moment, all she could do was let out a sob as she hugged back.

"I know we've had some regrets, believe me I've already dealt with some of them - one this morning - but these nice creatures have been praising about you, telling me how wonderful you are and all the amazing things you've done."

Upon hearing those sentiments, Fluttershy began to bawl as the sensitive walls in her heart began tearing down. Twilight and Spike both looked ready to cry themselves while Starlight felt her lip tremble slightly.

"I'm so happy to hear all the wonderful things we're going to do, but why are you letting that stop you from enjoying it? Your slip-ups are no longer 'you' after all. From what I know, you have everything you could ever want."

Fluttershy clenched herself back as she buried her head in her shoulder.

"I- I do... I really do. But I... how can I...?"

"And you finally get to be a mother. You know how long we've wanted something like that?"

Fluttershy couldn't take it anymore. With one loud heartbreaking scream, she dove back into her past clone's embrace as she let out a long wail of sobs.

With anxious trepidation, Spike made his voice known as he blinked away a few tears.

"What...do you mean by that?" he calmly asked, Starlight making her way over to stand next to Twilight and him.

Draping a few tears off herself, seeing her future self in a much needed consoling, Buttershy addressed the trio with a sad smile.

Looking over at Fluttershy, the still crying pegasus gave a small nod in agreement, feeling like there was no longer another choice in the matter as she meekly looked over her shoulder to gauge her friends' reactions.

With a shakily collected sigh, Buttershy spoke.

"We've always wanted to be a mother, for the longest time actually. We've always wanted to raise a young one and see it grow into an adult - to give it all the love and care we could ever give. To spread our kindness to someone who we could reciprocate it with."

Buttershy's smile vanished though as a depressed frown took over.

"But we've discovered a secret long ago that changed that. We went to a doctor when we first moved to Ponyville years ago, and... some tests came back..."

"...we discovered that day we could never have children."

The three collectively gasped in horror, feeling their veins freeze.

"We tried to hide our desire for a child with the animals we take care of, but... we always felt something was missing."

"F-fluttershy... no." Twilight stuttered.

"Fluttershy. Why...? Why didn't you ever tell us?" softly questioned Starlight.

The pegasus sniffled as she exited the hug from her duplicate, turning to lower her head at the three now shell-shocked beings in front of her.

"I-I was planning on telling you all...one day... but... the things with Spike happened... and I...."

Spike slowly came to a disturbing thought, his claws shaking as he walked ever closer to the pegasus.

"Because of me. You wanted to be my 'second mother', but thinking back on the things we've gone through in the past... you thought I was your only chance of getting to be a mom, right?"

The mare nodded.

"You weren't just scared to tell me, you were afraid our friends would berate you for never speaking up if I was your only shot at motherhood."

Another nod.

The dragon suddenly tackled her into a hug as he cried his eyes out.

"Even now you're afraid of losing me - of losing the one chance you could and eventually did have of being a mom."

The pegasus finally poured it all out as she cradled the drake in her grip.


With a light pound of his fists on her back, he retaliated.


Fluttershy ceased her wailing as she looked down at the dragon before her.

"I know you're scared, but I can promise you you'll never have to stop being my mother! We can work anything out - that's what I told you that night at your parents' house, isn't it?! We can work it out if we communicate, not letting it eat us up until it explodes! All your friends and family are there to help you Fluttershy, so don't ever expect any less!"

Twilight, Starlight, and Buttershy all came around and tackled her for a group hug.

"Fluttershy, some of the stings will probably remain forever, but you can find the light. We can work on focusing on the present and what lies ahead! That's what all of you did for me, and I'm darn sure I promise to never give up on you!" exclaimed Starlight with tears in her eyes.

"Fluttershy, you shouldn't have to hide anything from us! We all love you so much! We never want to see you hurt yourself! You've earned the right to be our best friend, to be worth our time and energy, and most of all, to be a mother! We would never and have never thought any less of you despite what may have happened!" cried Twilight.

"No matter what lies ahead, I know this moment will make it all worth it in the long run, so you should too!" Buttershy quivered.

"You've always earned the right of being a mother." Spike much more calmly stated. "It's funny, sometimes I think I haven't earned the right to be your son, considering how amazing you are."

He gave a light chuckle as he gave her a soft peck on the cheek.

"Guess we both have things we need support with, huh?"

Fluttershy felt her emotions push through one more time. All the fears, the bottled-up emotions, the worries, the doubts, the anxieties, the hidden things, they all came pouring out as she squeezed the ever-loving life out of those around her.

"My friends... My family... I LOVE YOU ALL!"

They all smiled back.

"We love you too."

A near eternity felt like passed as the four creatures had soothed an emotional Fluttershy into a blissful state of serenity. Hearing no more chokes, sniffles, or gasps, they all proceeded to make their ways off of her, addressing her with hopeful smiles.

"How do you feel?" Twilight asked - the others awaiting a response.

Fluttershy sighed as she felt her head lower.

"It still hurts..."

Everyone's eyes lowered, feeling their efforts were in vain.


Fluttershy instantly perked up as she adorned her traditional cheerful smile.

"...I feel much better now. Having finally gotten that off my chest, and knowing you guys and our friends back home will be there - I promise I'll be open with all of you, and I know that I'll be alright."

The others instantly cheered as they all nuzzled her for a brief moment.

The pegasus gave a soft chuckle.

"You were right, Twilight. I needed to confront that - it's how I was able to let it out of my system. And if it wasn't for your persistence and the assistance of... well... me, I wouldn't have opened up. Thank you." she said as she hugged Twilight.

The alicorn still felt guilty however.

"I feel like I could've thought of a much better plan though..."

A yellow wing petted her mane.

"Maybe, but we got to where we are now."

The two let out a chorus of laughter as the others watched in delight.

Seeing as everything on his mothers' ends were cleared up for now, he decided now was the time to address the elephant in the room.

"There's still one more part of my question that needs answering though..."

Everyone stared at the dragon with curious gazes, allowing him to continue.

"I know now that Fluttershy always wanted to be a mother, but why did she want to be my mother? What is it about me in particular? She could've always adopted or..."

To his surprise, Twilight simply gave him a knowing smile.

"I forgot with everything going on - but there's another reason why I brought us to the events of the migration. The answer to your question."


She nodded.

"Though, another time travel bubble's probably not the best idea at the moment..." she thought, before her eyes focused on Buttershy, gaining an idea.

"Hey Buttershy. Would you like to help Fluttershy and I with a demonstration?"

Buttershy merely looked taken aback, giving a slight confirmed murmur.


Fluttershy looked at Twilight, perplexed for a moment, before something finally snapped in her mind.

"Oh! That's right! This was when... we all... I completely forgot, how could I have?!"

Twilight gave her a wink, "It was a long night that evening though." to which the pegasus agreed.

Meanwhile, Starlight trotted her way over to an equally confused Spike, wondering what the other three were up to.

"You have any idea?"

"Not a clue." he shrugged.

"Alright, Spike this is the night after you returned from your 'Dragon Quest', you were fast asleep in your bed and the other girls stopped by when I, Rarity, and Rainbow asked them over." Twilight narrated.

The dragon nodded, trying to set the scene in his head.

"Alright, Buttershy. I want you to give the very first responses that pop into your head. It's important you react on your initial instincts. Be yourself here."

Buttershy nodded with a slightly puzzled expression.

"Alright, Buttershy. A few days after the dragon migration, you come over to the library to meet me and the rest of the girls. I tell you all about how Spike went on his own to live with the other dragons - Rarity, Rainbow, and I having given him full permission - before he ultimately returns home. What do you say?"

Then, like a trigger had just been pulled, Buttershy's face turned sour as her wings unfurled.

"WHAT?!" she roared. "You let Spike go out and live with dragons five times his size, and you didn't tell any of us! HOW COULD YOU?!" she seethed, delivering a light snarl.

Spike and Starlight sat there stunned. Was this... was this how she actually reacted or was she just pretending?

Fluttershy gave a bashful smile, forgetting how furious she was that night ( also seeing it on her face put things in perspective). Though she didn't have much time to reminisce as she received a light nudge from a waiting Twilight.

Putting two and two together, Fluttershy quickly spoke up.

"Oh! And then Rarity says 'Darling, don't get so worked up. We just did what he wanted.'" with an almost flawless Rarity impression.

"Doesn't matter! You could've at least told us he was going! We love him right here in Ponyville!" Buttershy still glared.

"And then Rainbow Dash says, 'Jeez Shy. Relax. Since when do you care so much? You didn't love any dragons the other day.'" Twilight imitated.

At this, Buttershy's face turned nearly dark red as she stormed over to 'Rainbow Dash'.

"How DARE you say that?! I LOVE Spike with all my heart! I don't see him like I do the other dragons! Spike is special. I see him like my..." and then Buttershy paused, somehow syncing with Fluttershy's past response perfectly.

"'Yer what, sugarcube?'" an Applejack-like Fluttershy questioned, getting a snort out of Starlight.

"My...my...." Buttershy stammered, suddenly finding herself embarrassed.

"Yes?" Twilight herself asked.

"MY SON!" Buttershy called out, suddenly clamping her hooves over her mouth.

Spike and Starlight watched on with complete intrigue.

"'A...a son? Like the one in the sky or...'" a pitch perfect Pinkie Pie- Fluttershy asked.

"No. Like my child." Buttershy sighed.

A Rainbow-esque Twilight was next.

"'Flutters... we... we never knew that..."

"'You... you want to be a mother to Spikey-Wikey?'" 'Rarity' questioned.

Buttershy looked up to the 'crowd' of her friends with an intense determination.

"Of course I do. If I was ever a mother, I'd love to have Spike as a child."

"'May we ask why, Sugarcube?'"

"When Twilight told me that Spike grew up never knowing his parents, and how alone he sometimes felt being the only dragon in Canterlot, I was shocked. I remembered..." she paused, glancing down at her hooves before picking herself back up.

"I remembered how lonely I felt back when I was a filly. A shy, fragile pegasus with no friends, constantly getting picked on because I was different with my weak-flying skills. I-I don't want the same thing happening to him! I want to make sure he has a better childhood than I ever had!"

Spike and Starlight both gaped in awe at the reveal, neither of them expecting something so profound from the shy pony.

"That's why. That's the answer." he whispered.

"Yeah." Starlight nodded.

"'Fluttershy, we didn't know about that.'"

"Well... now you do. I'm just happy he came back home when he realized those other dragons were being bullies. I'm still upset that he was almost gone for who knows how long."

Twilight and Fluttershy nodded their heads, making it seem like a crowd of five agreed.

"Why have you never told him?" Twilight asked.

"One day I plan on it, but right now I just can't! I don't want to talk about it, but I'm not sure how well I could take it if he rejected me." Buttershy had a single tear fall down her muzzle.

Twilight and the others now realized this referred back to the unfortunate news Fluttershy just told them. Everything made sense now.

Soon though, Twilight placed a comforting hoof on the pegasus's back, causing her to look up.

"It's alright. We understand. Though, we know he'll love you too. One day whenever you're ready, you can tell him. Until then, let's be the family Spike deserves."

"'Darling, I'm afraid you're not the only one. I've always wanted to be a family to Spike as well.'"

A bunch of "me too's" and "yeah's" (even from a reluctant 'Rainbow Dash') were made to characterize each of their friends.

Buttershy sniffed. "Really?! You too? Why haven't you told him?"

"'Because we're all super scared he won't love us anymore.'" 'Pinkie Pie' stated, the 'others' agreeing.

"'But one day we'll all be ready to tell him too, and we'll show him just how much he means to us.'" declared 'Applejack'.

Buttershy let out a happy sob as she hugged her 'friends'. "Everyone...thank you. We'll all do this one day, and we'll all love him. I just hope... he'll feel the same, no matter what happens."

"And...cut!" Twilight cried, snapping Buttershy out of her emotional trance, as Fluttershy hummed a delightful giggle.

"What... what happened? Did I do good?!"

Fluttershy giggled as she hugged her copy.

"You did perfect! Everything you just said actually happens."

"Wait, really?"

"Mmm hmm."

As the two exited the congratulatory hug, a dragon shot up to give Fluttershy a warm hug, which she graciously welcomed.

"So, that's the answer all along?" he asked with a sense of wonder in his voice. "You wanted to be my mother because you wanted to give me a better childhood than you had?"

"Mmm hmm." she agreed, as she kissed his head. "Every word you heard, it was said."

Her smile faded as she took a more wary tone.

"Though, I said I would be there and then the 'Crystal Empire' and the 'Breezies'..."

"Doesn't matter." Spike interrupted. "Like I've been telling you, we're all together now and that's what counts."

The pegasus's eyes watered as a fond smile graced her lips.

"Yeah. I guess it does. It was all worth the wait." she hugged him as Buttershy felt a sting of tears from viewing the tender scene.

"I do get there. I do make it. Heh. I guess there's not too much to worry about after all."

Spike then hopped down and approached Buttershy's side as he patted her on the back.

"And you'll make it too. Though, it's going to be kind of awkward now, seeing as you have to knowingly repeat everything, knowing the outcome." he pointed out, earning a bout of laughter from both of them.

However, initially unbeknownst to them, Twilight and Starlight gave each other regretful looks as they pitifully watched the scene in front of them. This was not unnoticed by Fluttershy though.

"Twilight? Starlight? What's wrong?" she asked with a curious frown, gathering the attention of the other two as they also began looking at the mares with worried frowns.

Twilight felt her insides crunch, not wanting to be the bearer of bad news.

"Well... there's a problem with that. Remember earlier when Starlight and I told you there was a way to keep the timeline stable, even with Buttershy?"

Spike and Buttershy silently nodded while Fluttershy continued to acknowledge the mares with bewilderment.

Starlight went up to the plate.

"You see, the moment you interacted with Buttershy, you created an alternate path in the timeline - a version which differs from the original - seeing as you interfered with her original actions...whatever she was doing before she met you."

"Crying and Cowering." Buttershy painfully admitted. Fluttershy nodded, remembering how long it took her before she quietly retreated back to the cottage that day.

"...right, thank you." Starlight continued. "Anyways, if we let the alternate path continue, it could drastically change events in the future."

Spike decided to speak up.

"What if we make sure she acts like she normally would?"

Starlight glumly shook her head.

"Sadly, that knowledge still being there can alter things, it's too high of a risk. In order to ensure everyone has the same future, we have to..." Starlight trailed off, finding herself slightly teary-eyed. She didn't want to have to say this to Spike.

Thankfully, an alicorn placed her hoof on her shoulder as she took the courage to resume.

"Spike. To ensure you get your wings, Fluttershy gets her sanctuary..."

Buttershy's eyes lit up like a decorated tree.

"Really?!" she squeakily whispered to Fluttershy, earning a warm smile in response.

"...to make sure you can keep your family, we have to...destroy the path."

Spike gasped, feeling his heart beat stop.


"Spike, we're going to have to eliminate the path so that all the events of the migration - including the moments where Fluttershy runs into the woods and comes back out- remain just as how they originally were."

"But...but that means..." his body shook.

Twilight and Starlight both nodded.

"The time we had here today will no longer exist; the dividend in the path outside of the part where we came and started this mess will be lost..."

"...basically it will be an endless loop of us coming in and then having to clear the path again..." Starlight added.

"...right, but Spike..."

"...Buttershy and all her memories and knowledge of meeting us - they'll be gone."

"No... NO!" Spike breathed in horror. "Buttershy's going to be erased?! She's never going to have the knowledge that she's a mom or that her future is safe?!"

Starlight sadly nodded.

"Only when she's going through that loop, but after this point... the 'Buttershy' you know will be gone."

Fluttershy let out a squeak of shock, while Buttershy remained oddly neutral.

Spike felt the burning sensation of tears flow.

"But...but... isn't there any other way...she deserves this!"

Twilight draped a wing over his back as she nuzzled him close.

"I'm so sorry Spike. I wish there was an other way, but..."

The dragon clenched her mane for a moment before he pulled away in frustration.

"So that's it?! Fluttershy's not going to know until my 'journey'? She's going to have to go through this again?!"

Fluttershy sadly nuzzled his cheek.

"Spike, sweetie. I know this is rough, but think about it, we're on the correct path. We're making sure our futures are bright. I'll go through hard patches, but I'll come out on top - like I just did."

Spike sniffled as he clung onto her coat.

"B-but Buttershy. She's going to have to..."

"Spike?" a voice called out, the other butterscotch pegasus slowly walking over to him.

The dragon looked up at the new pegasus as she cast him an oddly warm smile.

"Come here. It's time to say goodbye."

"No." Spike whispered, fearing what he was about to witness.

"Spike, I think another me would like to have a word with you." Fluttershy spoke sweetly, smiling at her counterpart.

Spike tacked himself onto the past pegasus with all his strength, burying his head into her chest.

While initially taken back by the force, the pony soon resumed her kindest smile as she draped her wings over him, rubbing his back continuously.

"I'm so sorry." Spike cried. "I'm sorry! I-I wish there was another way. This is all my fault, if I hadn't ran into you, we..."

"Spike, please stop being a silly dragon right now! You've done absolutely nothing wrong!"

Spike paused his tirade as he stood shocked. While her voice had been enough to stop him, it was the strength of it which halted any opposition. He swore this younger version had the same reflection of assertiveness and confidence his usual Fluttershy did. It was uncanny how sure of herself she sounded.

"I know I have to say goodbye, but you've given me a great gift today that I wouldn't ever give up."

"Bu..but.." he stammered, "You're not going to see..."

"Technically, I always have and always will be Fluttershy. I am her, She is what I will become. When you hug her, you hug me."

The pegasus kneeled down as she positioned Spike to directly face her.

"You know? I should be sad that I'm sort of leaving, but... I'm not sad one bit."

The dragon tilted his head at her as he sniffed.

"You aren't?"

The pegasus wisely shook her head, that inviting smile still present on her face.

"Nope. Thanks to all of you, I know I'm going to keep and gain new best friends, I'm going to grow more bold and confident, I'm going to see my dreams come true,...."

Buttershy then leaned in for a hug over his shoulder.

"And I'm finally going to become a mom... and it's all thanks to you." she felt the tears stream down her cheek.

"I have everything I could've ever wanted. I'd say goodbye a hundred times if it means I know I'll have an amazing son like you."

The dragon finally felt his last bit of strength fade away as he gripped onto the pegasus for dear life, wailing to his heart's content.

The three mares around him all openly began weeping - Fluttershy especially, knowing everything she said was the absolute truth.

"Shhhh... there, there. It's ok... my son."

After a few minutes, the painful choking eased up as Buttershy guided his head back towards direct eye contact.

"You have your own Fluttershy who'll always love you. Make sure you always remember that, ok?"

The dragon wiped the tears from his eyes as he smiled back for the first time.

"I will. I promise."

She patted his head in return.

"I know you will. Just know we will always be there for you."

She then turned her head to meet Fluttershy's emotional gaze.

"Make sure you take care of him, but also make sure to take care of yourself. You...we... have such wonderful friends. I'm glad we do."

Fluttershy sniffled. "The best."

Twilight finally decided to make her voice heard.

"We should probably get going."

The dragon nodded, hugging the soon to be faded memory one last time.

"Goodbye Buttershy. And thank you - for everything."

Buttershy delivered a kiss on the cheek, preventing herself from blushing.

"Goodbye Spike. Thank you - I can rest easy knowing we'll live a wonderful life."

As the dragon slowly made his way back to his mostly calmed-down family, he took one last look at the kind mare who had helped both him and his mother so much.

"Oh and Fluttershy - Good luck with what Starlight calls 'Kissing the very ground Discord floats above...'. I don't know what that means, but I'm sure it's lovely."

Fluttershy whipped her head towards Starlight's direction so fast it should've snapped her neck.

"STARLIGHT!" she roared, giving the unicorn a furious glare, while Spike and Twilight silently chortled.

"What?" Starlight not-so-innocently questioned.

"Goodbye!" Twilight and Spike fondly cried out one last time, before the alicorn's horn lit up, sending the four of them back home once again.

Buttershy's eyes closed, feeling an encompassing warmth surround her.

"Farewell... and good luck."

Back at the Friendship Castle:

With one last aura of light, the four creatures found themselves home again. Back in their own time, in the sanctity of the familiar crystalline castle.

The group remained silent for a minute or two, letting the calm songs of chirping birds outside through the tall glass windows help them regain their senses.

"So..." Starlight began. "Today sure was interesting."

"You can say that again." Spike groaned, swearing he cried more today than he had any other single day.

"I feel like I need 30 cups of tea." Fluttershy mumbled, staring vacantly outside a nearby window.

Twilight sighed.

"I still feel bad I made everyone go through that today. I'm so sorry. I'll never suggest time travel again."

"I wouldn't say that..." interrupted the pegasus, catching everyone's attention.

"...I mean, sure today was very stressful, but it helped out a lot. Spike got his answer on why I wanted to become his mother, I got to finally confide a secret of mine that I've wanted to share forever, you two got to learn more about us - I promise I'll also tell the others about my past if they ask. I wouldn't recommend making this a common thing, but I'm glad I did this with you guys." she offered a bright smile.

Twilight went over and hugged the yellow pony.

"I am too. I'm glad I could help someone as amazing as you."

The pegasus blushed slightly as she then went over to pick up Spike.

"I'm sorry about causing such a panic. But thanks for being so understanding with me, you're the best son in the world!"

"And you're an amazing mom!" he happily replied.

"But not the best?" she tilted her head with a fake pout.

"Twilight's in the room." he pointed out.

"Ah. I see."

"Hey!" they heard her cry behind them, causing them both to laugh.

"Well Fluttershy, thank you for helping us learn more about you. You must be exhausted after today." Twilight reasoned.

"Oh, yes. In fact, I should probably start heading home. It looks like it's getting late." she mentioned, noticing the bright orange hues of sunset outside.

"Wait, Twilight!" Spike called, before anyone could move. "Is it ok if I sleepover with my other mom for tonight? That is, if it's alright with the both of you..."

The alicorn gave a warm smile as she took notice of the two pleading creatures in front of her.

"Of course you can." she confirmed, causing the two to beam in excitement.

"Alright! Thanks Twi!" he gave her a quick hug before turning his attention back to the pegasus. "Chrysanthemum Tea?"

The pegasus clopped her hooves in excitement. "I'll make cookies!"

Before the two could excitedly make their leave however, a unicorn's voice stopped them.

"Wait! Fluttershy! Before you go..."

The dragon perched himself on the pegasus's back as she herself turned to face the unicorn with a curious smile.

"Yes Starlight?"

The unicorn briskly made her way over to them, putting a firm hoof on the mare's shoulder and looking into her eyes with all the seriousness in the world before she said:

"If it's not Discord you're woozy over, who is it? My money's on either Twilight or Pinkie."

Fluttershy gaped in shock for a moment before turning her body back around with a roll to her eyes.

"We're leaving. Come on, Spike."

The dragon giggled as the unicorn gave him a wink unseen to the mare. Nodding his head, he smirked, hopping off her back as he and the unicorn began following after her.

"Let's see there's Fluttercord, Twishy, Pinkieshy..."

"SPIKE!" the pegasus huffed as she tried to hurry up her pace.

"How about Flutterdash?" called out Starlight.

"STARLIGHT!" the pegasus groaned as she playfully started running away from the two, they being close in hot pursuit.

Twilight just rolled her eyes as she saw the three creatures run off into the distance.

"Family isn't always easy, but these moments are the best feelings in the world."

At Fluttershy's cottage, it was late at night as the two creatures decided it was time to retire for the evening.

As the two walked upstairs however, a thought had occurred to Spike.

"Where should I sleep?" he cautiously asked his host.

She blushed a little as she led him to her bedroom. "Actually, I thought you could sleep in here with me - that is, if you wanted too."

Looking at the big fluffy bed, he gratefully looked back up at the even fluffier pegasus.

"I'd like that."

As the pegasus turned out the light in the room, she began to make herself nice and cozy on the bed as a small dragon hopped up after her to settle down in her opened hooves, becoming one with the luxuriously soft hold.

She kissed him on the head as she let out a comforting yawn.

"Good night, Spike. I love you."

The drake felt his mind slowly drift away, into the soothing presence of the night and the eager promises of tomorrow.

"Good night, Mom. I love you..."

"...and I always will."

Author's Note:

Well, Fluttershy has finally made peace with herself - both literally and metaphorically.

What a great two-parter to add to this story.

(*I honestly teared up writing this - that's never happened before*)

Thanks for reading. See you whenever next time may possibly be.