• Member Since 12th Dec, 2011
  • offline last seen Yesterday

Jake The Army Guy

Be excellent to each other, and PARTY ON, DUDES! ~ Abraham Lincoln


What was supposed to be a day of laughter and joy for Spike ended in screams and terror.

After receiving a tear-stained scroll from Twilight, Princess Luna and a Royal Guard relief force race towards Ponyville. While the Guard sets to rendering aid to the shaken town, Luna heads for the Golden Oak Public Library to render aid to the one she knows all too well needs it the most.

Takes place directly after Secret of My Excess.

Pre-readers: Georg, Tek, and Pascoite

Cover art by Mysticalpha on Deviant Art, used with permission. Show him some love.

Featured on Equestria Daily.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 78 )

holy ****

That was a great story, loved every line! You really nailed the characters, especially Spike and Luna I believe, and it was quite well-written.


Thanks so much! Getting Season 2 Luna right was a bit of a chore, but it seems like I pulled it off!

It helped that I'm writing a Luna story right now. More than happy to lend a sympathetic (and occasional nudging) ear.

To mangle a quote "Rumors of the demise of your writing ability, have been vastly exaggerated." I had to stop there for a moment and wipe a tear or two away there at the mid point. Never cease to amaze me Jake! That's why I love comin' back to your stories now and again. Right up there in my top 3 authors I can't put down on this site!

I can't wait to see what you have in store next! Maybe a Frankenstein story... Sorry sorry. Been listening to that Frankenstein Musical too much lately.

This isn't meant to be a knock at Secret of my Excess (far from it, as a matter of fact), but I was always astounded by the nonchalance with which the show brought up—and then just as quickly dropped—the concept of dragon greed-growth. Just off the top of my head, it's probably one of the darkest instances of Fridge Horror I've ever seen.

Point being, it's always fun to see how it's explored in fanon, and this was no exception. In particular, while it wasn't the highlight of the hour, I thought Spike's bouts of fearful anti-materialism were a nice touch. Everything else was executed just as well, too.

So, all in all, hats off to ya!



That seriously means a lot, my dude. Especially in this day and age. Thank you.


Yeah, there are a bunch of things the show brought up and dropped that are kinda scary when you think about it. This one just stuck with me all these years. And thank you for noticing his "anti-materialism" as you say. I was a bit worried that people wouldn't get the symbolism of Spike's destroyed birthday gifts unless they'd seen the episode recently. Combine that with his greatest fear of being "sent away," and I thought it was a pretty powerful detail.

Thanks so much for the kind words! :twilightsmile:

Superb story here. I only wished more of Spike's relationship with Luna was seen more on the show. Not to mentioned seeing more Of Luna during season 2 when folks need her guidance & wisdom.

Do you know this... mmm, strapping young Guardstallion?

Indeed, by this time, AJ's and Rarity's were the only families shown (IIRC Twilight's parents and Pinkie's family weren't shown until the CMC's cutie mark tour) ... :applecry: :unsuresweetie: :scootangel:

Well, The Cutie Mark Chronicles was in Season One, and Secret of My Excess Was Season Two. However, you are right in that AJ and Rarity's families were the only one who had speaking lines outside of TCMC.

I threw this in there because I wanted to sort of lampshade that the girls knew that Twilight had a brother before A Canterlot Wedding. Also because several episodes have revolved around Rarity's T H I R S T. :pinkiecrazy:


One of my biggest :regrets" about the show is they never really touched on the relationship between Spike and Shining Armor. I mean, he got the "little brother" label in Sparkle's Seven, but we never saw their dynamic. My older brother is only three years older than me, so we conflicted and fought all the time. But male friends who have a brother that is 5+ years older have told me that it was basically hero worship. I really wish we had seen that.

Thank both of you for the kind words! :ajsmug:

I also wished that Luna was around the help the CMC'S during their troubles with the whole GABBY GUMS. Undoubtedly she'd be more than willing to help them out of their tight pinch & show every townsfolk in Ponyville the folly of their vain ways along with showing that it was their own fault for getting so sucked up into those stories & asking for more until it stared targeting them. Spike & Mane Six included unless if Twilight wants to get into HOT WATER with her mentor for causing another FREINDSHIP PROBLEM behind her back.

To be perfectly fair to the show...it's still a kid's show. They no doubt didn't want to weigh it down with this serious and heavy stuff that I'm not sure the show's real intended audience would've understood or appreciated the true depth of. Personally, I was impressed they even covered as much as they did of the aftermath in the episode, as they could've just as easily not have at all.

Still...that's what fanfiction is for--covering the things the show, for whatever reason, cannot. And I agree, this fic did that pretty darn well. :twilightsmile:

Luna lowered her head so as to be eye level with him. “Because, Spike, more than anypony else on the planet, I truly understand what you are going through.” Spike’s breathing hitched once more, and he slowly lifted his gaze to her, eyes widening. “You well know that I, too, once fell to my... baser instincts. I let my darker emotions and tendencies overwhelm me, clouding my mind of rational thought and compassion. Sadly, when I lost control, I destroyed far more than a few city blocks. I tried to destroy what I valued the most. And I nearly did." She reached a hoof and gently stroked his cheek. “Believe me, it is a painful weight upon the soul I would not wish upon any pony in Equestria, no matter how vile they may be. And I would give anything to keep you from it as well.”

"Because I, Princess Luna wish to invalidate my own insecurities by taking advantage of yours, as such I have convinced my sister to refuse you aid, so I may indulge in my own petty sense of self-reflection by use of your vulnerability, despite my clear immaturity and inability to deal with young minds without repsorting to agression"

“Complete emotional breakdowns?” Applejack said.

"Basic emotional manipulation, stealing candy from a child, isolation of a young boy from his peers, using said isolation to impose servitude in the young boy, continued manipulation after you failed, gold digging worth every inch of suffering you recieved for it"

This ain't no jab at you, author, this is just all me and some frustration.

Decent story, logic is soundish, makes sense for what it is.


Not bad, slick...

Not bad at all...

And for a story just between Spike and Luna, may I recommend:


It's in Estee's Tryptich universe, but a stand alone...and Estee can write...!!!

Hope the lights are working and the heat is on...

An good take on a parallel which is obvious in retrospect, but I don't know if has been explored before.

Continuity wasn't really a thing back then - what happened in an episode stayed in that episode for the most part.

We can at least gather that their joint love of O&O was passed down - and given Spike only seems to play it when Twilight is away, it might have been their "thing". (Or perhaps Twilight is just a total nightmare at the game table - or both.) Superhero comics, too (which fits with both of their heroic aspirations).

Don't get me wrong, I get what you're both saying. My bad. Pardon my earlier prosaisms.

Oh, I absolutely head canon that Shining Armor was the one who got Spike into O&O. One of my favorite traits of Shining is that in addition to being a devoted husband, father, and brother... he's also a massive fucking dork. Especially after the Neigh Anything comic arc, I can absolutely see Shining and his nerd friends downstairs playing O&O when a 7-8 year old Spike wanders down and starts asking questions. Instead of being annoyed, Shining pulls him into his lap and begins explaining the game to him, which is how this became their "thing," as you say.

Heh, sorry for the head canon dump. :twilightsheepish:


D'aww, thank you! And luckily I didn't get it too bad down here. I lost power for a bit over 24 hours, and water for around 48. Fortunately, bottled water wasn't that hard to find, and I actually love the cold, so I was snug as a bug in my apartment, wearing a big floofy jacket and some sweatpants. :pinkiecrazy:

This was great. The idea of Spike reeling from what he knows he did went completely over my head for the longest time. This was a really great look into that kind of aftermath.


Yeah, I never really gave it much thought either. I mean, it had been in the back of my mind for a while, how he may react to this, but I never found an interesting angle. Then a few months ago, I watched the Nostalgia Critic's review of the Ang Lee Hulk movie, and I remembered that part where Eric Bana talks about how when he "finally lost control... I liked it."

The movie treated it as some sort of omen, but it occurred to me that Spike had been the butt of the joke for most of the early seasons, and suddenly he becomes the biggest and strongest creature in town. As horrifying as it must have been to lose control... part of him probably enjoyed being the big one commanding respect. Now imagine when he returned to normal and truly saw what he had been enjoying?

Thanks for the kind words, my dude! :pinkiehappy:

I love stories like this that get that wonderful wide niche of things that happened off-screen.

Wonderfully done.


Thank you so much! :twilightblush:

What we have to remember is that for all our praising the show on its characters, lore, and story, at the end of the day... it's still a kids cartoon. This means they have to lampshade a bunch of things that would start to get creepy or scary if you thought about it too long. So it's understandable that an episodic show like FiM would hit Star Trek: Voyager's patented "Magic Reset Button" between episodes so we an focus on the new lesson of the week.

So much like yourself, I find it fun to imagine what happens during that indeterminate amount of time between episodes when characters would have to really deal with things. It's that whole, "The world does not cease to exist simply because you stop observing it" thing.

This was a great read, a more emotional and realistic take on the aftermath of the episode. It’s always interesting to see writers explore the consequences from the episodes. The story is very simple but does pack a punch, thanks in no part to your characterisation is on point for basically everyone. I was a little thrown off about Luna referring to Spike as a child, simple cos I’ve always viewed him as more in his middle teens at this point in the series. That said Spike is pretty inconsistent in that matter so if still works after a paragraph or two. Plus it works for the story very nicely, especially when you consider Luna has an easier time connecting with children then she does adults.

The one thing that I’m kinda on the fence about is Celestia being Spike “mommy”. It works for the fic and I know that may have been one of the original ideas behind Spike’s upbringing, but personally I could never see it. There relationship never struck me as that kind of dynamic. Don’t ruin the reading experience it just didn’t pack the same kind of punch. At least for me.

Overall, a great read. Nice work


Thanks! :pinkiehappy:

Yeah, the whole "mommy" bit was a bit of head canon. Then again, what I always point to is at the beginning of Winter Wrap-Up, when Spike is awoken by Twilight he says, "Huh? Mommy?" And then when he sees it's Twilight, he says, "Oh, you're not mommy." So, he had to be talking about someone he considered "mommy," right? Unless it was a subconscious thing and he was dreaming he had his dragon mom only to wake up to cold reality but hey let's keep this happy okay? :pinkiecrazy:

Still, I'm glad it didn't do too much to diminish your enjoyment.

Since this was season 1 it probably fell under the, this seems funny we’ll work out the plot later. Same goes for winter wrap up’s “it’s been that way for hundreds of years”, which then makes Granny Smith several hundred years old lol.

For the in universe reason for it, I’d say the closest thing he’d have to a mommy is probably Twilight Velvet. Only cos it feels the most natural, for what we later learned about how Spike was raised with the other Sparkle kids. That said I feel Spike would probably still consider himself the boss I sheep/outcast of the family, so whether he actually calls them mom and dad is debatable.

Twilight Sparkle is basically a mix of a mother, sister and best friend so it’s all up in the air I suppose


I tend to agree more these days. I used to be firmly in the "sister/brother" camp for Twi and Spike, but lately I've been sort of classifying her as his, "big sister/guardian/best friend/does-it-really-matter." Or as I said in Memories Returned:

“Applejack was your sister, but Twi... nrgh,” he slammed his fist against his thigh, “Twilight, she... she was my everything, okay?! My closest friend, my first friend, my big sister, my... m-my mo...”

Also, I kind of like the idea that Spike did with Twilight Velvet and Night Light what Darwin did in The Amazing World of Gumball an dcall them "Mrs. Mom and Mr. Dad."

Makes the most sense to me.

And then Lesson Zero Twilight obsesses over how Greed Growth actually works, given the staggering increase in mass without even any additional consumption of food, not to mention the speed at which it was able to REVERSE! It FASCINATES Twilight!

And so... she begins to experiment.

Some time later... Horse Titans begin to appear... :twilightoops:

A very interesting episode expansion. I like the idea behind this. I never considered it before, but drawing a parallel between these characters makes so much sense, it almost feels obvious in hindsight. Beyond that, I also think that you wrote their interactions very well. All the characterisation and relationships here are great. Continuity was a little spotty in places, though. Not sure what you were going for here in terms of timeline. But a very strong piece overall. Consider me a fan.

Very impressive. I thought I was ready for the feels but, like Luna, I underestimated how much bigger they had been. Momlestia. Love that relationship for them, as well as Best, life long family/friendship for Twilight and Spike, AND Shiny!

Great job! 10/10:moustache:


Thank you for the kind words! :pinkiehappy:

This story takes place about an hour after the resolution of the episode, assuming it ended a tad different than what we saw in the show, of course. That is, no hunky-dory happy ending, but a bit more realistic. May I ask what about the continuity confused you?


Heh, thanks! I love the "Sparkle siblings," as one could undoubtedly tell by my previous stories. Twilight and Spike's relationship is one of my favorite things about the show, and I love it when stories explore how Spike would get along with Shining Armor, as well.

Overall, I liked it, though there was one particular sentiment Luna expressed that kinda struck me as... a bit self-serving? Please don't hate me for it. And, well, I don't think it's a problem of the writing, I think it's a problem of Luna's own ego—which is rather fragile and easily-dented. It's this:

Luna shook her head, then leaned in just a hair closer to ensure she had his attention. “Every creature has this voice, and every creature has, at some point, fallen into that... ‘muddy pit.’ It just so happens that when this occurs with very powerful beings, like alicorns, and yes, dragons, the results tend to be a bit more...” She looked up and raised an eyebrow before looking back at Spike, the corner of her mouth every so slightly turned up. “Dramatic.”

The way she phrases this makes it sound like a badge of honour. Something to be proud of. That it's ONLY because they are so much sronger than everyone around them that they create more suffering; the scope of their actions aren't important in the process, it's merely a byproduct of their awesomeness.

Maybe it's just me, but I feel like she left out the next logical step, namely that if you are so much stronger than those around you and you don't want to hurt them, you need to be extra careful. Especially when, with the both of them, it was the rush of destructive power that led them down the worst actions. Perhaps Luna doesn't wish to face that truth. Perhaps it's easier for her to believe that any Alicorn who indulges in any vice will go insane because that means her own failures are less... well, hers and hers alone.


No, no, you have a point. My intent behind that bit wasn't for it to be a "badge of honor." More, as you kind of said, that both she and Spike are very powerful creatures who can do more damage when they "snap," as it were. I guess I could have found a way to make that more clear. Heh, I probably should have done exactly what you said and have her follow that comment up with one about them having to work harder.

Then again, I could just hand-wave this away by saying she didn't want to trouble his mind anymore than it was. :pinkiecrazy:

Thanks for the constructive criticism, my dude! :ajsmug:


Then again, I could just hand-wave this away by saying she didn't want to trouble his mind anymore than it was.

That would've been my next guess, because this is the same pony who then systematically tortured herself every night through a self-created dream demon so she would never, ever, ever be free of her guilt. Which is, shall we say, perhaps also not the healthiest approach? :pinkiecrazy:


May I ask what about the continuity confused you?

Mainly the chronology of the episodes you're going for. I generally try not to make a big deal about this unless it's particularly noticeable, since it's more the show's fault than anything, but in this case some of choices did leave me scratching my head a bit.

Like for example, you specifically dated this to six months after Luna Eclipsed, yet before Canterlot Wedding. So even if we push back Luna Eclipsed as early as possible, and say it occurred less than three months after the pilot during Twilight's first summer in Ponyville rather than in the fall (highly problematic, because it's already a densely eventful summer even without that), that would still place Secret of My Excess as late as January or February (more likely even later, since it obviously wasn't winter in that episode). This leaves a very short timeframe for Canterlot Wedding, Crystal Empire, the rest of season three, Twilight's ascension, and Equestria Girls to occur before the next Summer Sun Celebration in season four. Return of Harmony also has to fit into this already busy springtime as well, because it references Winter Wrap-Up, and there are several other episodes from seasons one and two that also need to take place in the spring, most notably Party of One, which thus must have been very recent at the time of this story.

To be totally fair, I don't think that there's any outright contradictions here, at least none that I can immediately spot, but it paints a very strange picture to push Canterlot Wedding back so late.

Granted, this is all assuming that this is meant to be adhering to the one year timeline that the writers followed from season four onwards. If you're instead writing according to the pre-season four standard that each season was its own year, then this is all a lot more understandable. But since this is not an interpretation which canon supports, I tend not to assume that this is what an author is doing unless they specifically say so. Hence my confusion.

[/Quibble Pants]




For real though, I just... kinda estimated the timeline. But, I mean, if we went by the show's chronology, Seasons 2-5 take place in one year, as Make New Friends But Keep Discord is supposedly the next Grand Galloping Gala after The Best Night Ever.

I don't know how it works. Let's just say "Quantum" and leave it at that. :pinkiecrazy:

To quote a wise old dragon that sits at the peak of a mountain..

“What is better – To be born good, or to overcome your evil nature though great effort?”

This is a good story about Spike and how he had to deal with his Greed Growth.


It's a confusing and much debated matter, believe me I know. Though it'd be more accurate to say that seasons one to three take place across a year. As you observe, seasons four and five must not be self-contained or aired in chronological order either in order to make sense, but they're generally much better about both than the first three seasons, and they're very definitely a separate year at least. It helps to think of seasons one through three as the "Year of the Unicorn," beginning with one Summer Sun Celebration and ending with another when season four begins, and then seasons four, five, and maybe a little of six as the "Year of the Alicorn."

Of course, seasons five and six have two separate Hearth's Warming episodes between them, so season six begins to edge into year three, the "Year of Starlight," and beyond that the timeline starts getting even crazier if you can believe it, but hey, whatever. I'm not gonna hold you to any strict standard here, because an agreed upon standard doesn't actually exist. Some people have studied canon for years and still not come up with a definitive answer for some of these questions. You do whatever works best for your writing. This is all me nitpicking more than anything (but you asked, so...)

Just for the record, if this is a subject you care about at all and I'm not just boring you to tears, Oliver is a cool dude and an all around good source, whose blogs help to make sense of at least some of these questions. I recommend his chronology tool in particular for guesstimating a reasonable episode chronology. I use a variation of it myself.

If strength is born of struggle, than he who struggles with his very being must be mighty indeed. Thanks for reading! :pinkiehappy:

I appreciate you reading it, and I'm glad you enjoyed it! :twilightsmile:

Wow, that seems to be a really thought out blog... but I note a few inconsistencies. For example, in dating Sweet & Elite, the dude bends over backwards and twists into a pretzel to explain why Rarity is writing a friendship lesson to Celestia prior to Lesson Zero, but this reasoning is flimsy at best.

Still a useful resource I may use in the future. Thanks! :ajsmug:


I don't always agree with Oliver's conclusions or reasoning either, but he's by far the most accurate and comprehensive canon researcher I know, and his data is still useful for drawing your own conclusions. The great thing about his chronology tool is that if you disagree with his reasoning about Sweet and Elite (which I do too), you can simply untick the precede box and shift the episode somewhere more sensible for your personal timeline. That's what it's there for, after all, and I've personally gotten a lot of mileage out of it.

And now you got me craving the conversation between Shining, Twilight, and her friends.


I imagine it would be:

Applejack evaluating him as the inferior big brother to Big Mac.

Rainbow Dash asking about what kind of aerial drills pegasi Guards run.

Pinkie Pie planning a combined "Welcome to Ponyville/Surprise Big Brother/Thanks For Repairing Our Town/Congrats On The Wedding Oops That's Later In The Season" party.

Fluttershy trying to disappear.

Rarity shamelessly flirting with Shining.

Spike growing a bit annoyed at said shameless flirting.

Twilight also trying to disappear.

Thanks for reading, my dude! :ajsmug:

Honestly, my favorite kind of fanfic that just focuses on characters being themselves! Not everything has to be a grand adventure.


I agree! I love adventure and mystery, but sometimes you just want some cute poners being themselves.

Thanks for reading! :pinkiehappy:


Thanks you! I'm super glad you liked it. :twilightsmile:


Man, I really need to watch that show...

To the author- Hi👋 i've seen your comments about on various fics through the years.
omg this felt like could've been an actual episode of mlp:heart:
(too bad the main heads wouldn't allow Lauren faust's idea of princess luna being a more establish character assholes:flutterrage:)

i had wrote a fic (way back in 2017 upon entering this fandom! although never got released due to many 'issues') called love between brothers [dusk shine x spike] & title is misleading on purpose!
in one of the chapters has shining armor in his office having a moral dilemma over changelings (as voices appear feeding on his insecurity) causing him to have a semi-mental break down then gets comforted by candance.

written on sunday of 2/21/21

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