• Published 4th May 2021
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A Secret Admirer 3: Spike's Sacrifice (AU) - 1jckuhn



A version of Spike's Sacrifice if the events of "A Secret Admirer" played out.

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Chapter 12: Cozy's Mental Breakdown/A surprise for Cozy

Author's Note:

Smolder: Here's the "Unspeakable deed" Tirek did that made him, in our opinion, irredeemable. Mpony1 and Raven, prepare to be disgusted at the actions of a Centaur.

MEANWHILE IN THE CANTERLOT DUNGEONS

When Twilight and the others had left the Dungeons in Canterlot, Cozy Glow broke down into a fit of sobs, tearfully saying how she was sorry for causing Spike to die. Two minutes later, it was a different story. Cozy's sobs slowly transitioned into manical laughter, babbling on about how Spike's death would "teach Celestia and Luna a lesson for taking her best friend away from her" and that they now "knew how it felt to lose someone close to them". She kept going back and fourth between crying and laughing manically. It was needless to say that at this point, the last of the severly mentally ill Pegasus' sanity seemed to have finally given out. Chrysalis seemed to enjoy Cozy's mood swings, even chuckling when she was about to shift moods. Tirek, on the other hand, couldn't help but feel a little uncomfortable by Cozy finally snapping right in front of him.

THE NEXT DAY

Right on schedule, Celestia, Luna, Cobalt, Garble, and Spike's harem were at the dungeons and were being lead to Cozy, Tirek, and Chrysalis' cell. As they got closer, the ten ponies heard sobbing coming from their cell. By the time they got to the front of the cell and were facing the three villains, the sobbing was now slowly transitioning into manical laughter. Chrysalis saw the ten new arrivals, and could not be happier to see them. Even if she loathed them unconditionally. Tirek saw them too, but didn't say a word.

"Oh, thank god you're here," Chrysalis growled. "Shut that brat up, she's been crying and laughing all night. I haven't been able to get a wink of sleep."

24 hours ago, Chrysalis would've found Cozy's insanity funny, but that was before she was kept up all night by Cozy's loud crying and laughing.

The 16 heroes looked into a corner and there they saw Cozy Glow curled into a ball facing away from them. She was surrounded by a puddle of tears and her mane and tail were a tangled, soaked mess. Cobalt felt tears brimming in his eyes at the sight of his first friend finally going off the deep end. At Celestia's command, the guards unlocked the prison cell and they all stepped inside.

Cobalt bolted to Cozy and gently tapped on her shoulder. She flipped around and everyone felt a bit uneasy looking at her face. Her face had a twisted smile on her face, her eyes were red-rimmed and puffy, her pupils were dilated, her cheeks were soaked with tears, and she looked really, really crazy. When she saw Cobalt, however, her crazed expression turned into a shocked one. It seemed the sight of her best friend was slowly bringing her back to reality.

"C-Cobalt?" she spoke softly. "I-Is-Is it really you?"

"Yes, Cozy," Cobalt said, wrapping his friend in a hug. "Shh, it's okay. I'm here now."

Cozy suddenly broke free of Cobalt's grasp and stood protectively in front of him, glaring hatefully and growling at Celestia, Luna, Garble, and Spike's harem.

"GET AWAY FROM HIM!!!" she screamed.

"Whoa, Cozy, chill. What's the matter?" Cobalt asked

"OH, I'LL TELL YOU WHAT'S THE MATTER!!!" Cozy yelled. "CELESTIA AND LUNA IMPRISONED TIREK IN TARTARUS BECAUSE HE WAS THE ONLY ONE WHO KNEW CELESTIA AND LUNA TIPPED OFF THE COPS TO WHERE WE WERE IN CANTERLOT!!!"

"Cozy, we didn't tip off the cops to your location," Luna said calmly.

"YEAH, RIGHT!!!" Cozy snapped back, her voice never lowering. "JUST HOW STUPID DO YOU THINK I AM?!! YOU WERE GONNA KILL ME IF YOU FOUND OUT WHY I WAS THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE!! TIREK WARNED ME ABOUT THAT!!! SO I HAD TO MAKE UP A LIE TO PREVENT YOU FROM FINDING OUT MY TRUE MOTIVE!!!"

Celestia turned to Tirek wearing a stern expression, "Tirek, care to explain what Cozy Glow is talking about?"

Tirek sighed. He knew he had nothing to lose and lying wouldn't do him any good. He explained that Cozy came down to Tartarus, assuming whoever had given up the whereabouts of Cobalt and her would be hiding there, assuming she'd never look for them down there. Cozy figured that whoever did tip off the cops would probably figure Tartarus would be the last place the crazed Pegasus would ever look. Tirek overheard her angry, insane rants about what she'd do to the culprit and beckoned her over to his cage. He told her he knew Cobalt and told her the Princesses were the ones who tipped off the cops to their locations. He wanted to tell Cozy Glow immediately, but the Princesses intercepted him and sent him down here to prevent him from ever telling her. Any normal pony would've blown Tirek off, but Cozy's fractured mind coupled with her lust for revenge and her unrestrained rage made her believe him. Tirek also said that Twilight and her friends were also involved in tipping off the police to Cobalt and her hideout. The Centaur advised her to try to start out as their friend because he claimed that was what they were "hellbent on teaching everyone". Before she went, however, Tirek said if she ever got caught, he wanted her to say that friendship was power to cover up the real reason about why she was there. The old Centaur "feared" that she'd be killed by Celestia and Luna if they found out her true intentions.

After Cozy left Tartarus, she found out that they had their own school of Friendship and she instantly realized how she could infiltrate their ranks. Her attempts were foiled and she was sent to Tartarus. Then she was suddenly teleported out of her cage and into an old lair in the middle of the Everfree Forest. She wasn't teleported alone, however. In the lair with her was King Sombra, Tirek, and Chrysalis. The one who had teleported them out of there was an ancient cornflower blue ram named Grogar, who assigned them all tasks that would help them out for the final assault on Equestria. King Sombra, however, believed he could take on Equestria's heroes alone and was ultimately defeated. The other three villains soon met the same fate, but not before a young life was unfairly cut short in the process.

Everyone was, to put it very lightly, irate at Tirek's revelation. Cobalt probably felt the most rage out of them all. He jumped up on Tirek's bunk, grabbed the Centaur's goatee in his magic and yanked him down so they were at eye level.

"How dare you?" he growled. "How dare you exploit a pony's mental illness, a kid for that matter, for your own SICK, TWISTED, NEFARIOUS SCHEMES OF VENGEANCE?!!"

Tirek just gulped nervously as Twilight came up to speak next.

"You are a lot lower than I thought," she said in a low voice. It didn't sound angry, but rather dissapointed, as if she expected Tirek to be better than that despite being a villain.

With nothing left to say the Celestia ordered the guards to send a team of paramedics to take Cozy Glow to the hospital for a mental evaluation. The Royal Sisters already had a feeling the Cozy might be too incompetent to stand trial. When they went to pick her and put her on the bed, she resisted them. Eventually, they worked out a deal with her: She'd go with them, but only if Cobalt stayed with her the whole time. Cobalt was also on board with the plan. With that said, they loaded Cozy into the ambulance and they rode off to the hospital. On his way out of the prison cell, Cobalt shot one last, piercing glare at Tirek. The old Centaur felt a chill run down his spine when Cobalt gave him a final dirty look. He had never stopped to think about the consequences of his actions. All he cared about was getting revenge on Princess Celestia and Luna for defeating him.

FOUR DAYS LATER

Cozy's test results came back quicker than expected and the Royal Sisters' suspicions about Cozy being too incompetent to stand trial were confirmed. Cozy's tumble off the top of the hill had given her a severe case of bipolar disorder, PTSD, and it seemed she had brain damage. She'd have to take meds and undergo psychotherapy for the rest of her life. Twilight and the other members of her harem couldn't help but feel sorry for Cozy. The only reason she was so evil all this time was because she was a pony who became mentally-ill because of a concussion and was manipulated by Tirek for his own wicked deeds to bring Equestria to its knees. The idea alone that the wicked Centaur exploited the fractured mind of a child to get what he wanted made Twilight both enraged and sick to her stomach at the same time. Yet, she also felt partial blame for what happened as well. She remembered how her friends and she pressed Tirek in Tartarus and he revealed that Cozy Glow was his ally. If they weren't so eager to get out of Tartarus, the Element Bearers would've likely questioned him further about how exactly Tirek met Cozy and possibly get him to crack sooner. If they had gone with that option, not only would Cozy already be fully reformed, but Spike would, without a doubt, still be alive too.

As for Cozy's sentence, all charges against her were dropped because of her insanity. When she started taking meds for her Bipolar Disorder and PTSD, her memory was, at first, very hazy and she really couldn't remember much. When she was told in detail all the bad things she had done, however, the doctors experienced a side of Cozy Glow no one had ever seen before, a woebegone, sad, and remorseful Cozy Glow. Everyone half-expected her to switch to manical laughing after one to two minutes, but she never did. She sobbed for a full six hours, mumbling for forgiveness from Celestia and Luna. Luna's dream relm saw Cozy having nightmares of either Celestia and Luna glaring before her before they used their magic to petrify her into stone or she'd be alone in a room with the only light being an invisible spotlight shining on her, before another spotlight would also come on right in front of her and she would see a purple dragon covered with shards of Grogar's shattered bell, soaked in blood, his abdomen was burned to a crisp and smoking, and his face was a blank expression. He'd look right her and whisper the words, "You did this," or, "You killed me. Why did you kill me?", over and over again.

Cobalt didn't know what to do. He could never leave Cozy's room, because everytime he did, she'd break down and just bawl, even to just use the bathroom. He tried his best to comfort his distraught friend, but no avail. During their time together in Canterlot as runaways, Cozy would sometimes have nightmares, but Cobalt was always there to support her and lull her back to sleep. The blue colt was able to do that, but he would always be woken up several times throughout the night by Cozy's screams. It'd take almost an hour to assure her it was just a dream. When they were runaways, Cozy would usually be back to sleep in less than ten minutes. After another four days, Celestia and Luna decided enough was enough. They weren't alone either, even Twilight and her friends were onboard with the plan. If the truth be told, they also felt at fault for what Cozy did. Sending her down to Tartarus seemed to only make her become even worse. The fact that the one who had instigated it was with her the whole time didn't help much either. There was also something else that motivated them to reform her as well, but they'd reveal that to her when they got to her hospital room.

LATER THAT DAY

Cobalt was glad that Cozy was finally getting some sleep. He had seen Cozy wake up eight times last night from nightmares. It seemed they were getting worse and worse and Cobalt was running out of plans of comforting her. Now, however, she had been sleeping for almost four hours without one nightmare. A nurse came into their room and stopped in front of Cobalt.

"You have visitors, dear," she said.

"Send them up, please," Cobalt responded.

The nurse left the room and a few minutes later, Celestia, Luna, Garble, and all 12 members of Spike's harem trotted into the room just as Cozy Glow let out another scream and woke up from another horrifying nightmare. They covered their ears until Cozy was fully conscious and stopped screaming. Cozy saw the three Princesses and knew instantly that her fate was sealed...or so she thought.

"Hello Princess Celestia, Luna, Twilight," Cozy said in a sad, defeated tone. "I know why you're here. I screwed up and I can't fix what I did. So just take me to the dungeons and get it over with."

Celestia and Luna didn't respond. Instead they muttered a spell and both their horns began to glow. Cozy had a feeling that this was the end of the line for her as she saw a white sphere begin to form over the heads of both Princesses. That was until Twilight turned off the lights and the filly Pegasus saw the silhouette of a small figure beginning to appear on the large, white, sphere of magic. After a few seconds, Cozy recognized who it was. The sight made her feel shocked at who it was. There, on the portal in front of her, was a purple dragon who didn't have a scratch on him. His dragon wings were replaced with a pair of snow white, feathered wings and a golden yellow halo hovered above his head, but other than that he looked the same. Beside him were two bigger dragons, one male on the right and one female on the right. The male had purple scales that matched Spike's perfectly on the majority on his body. The male Dragon also had a muscular build and had an underbelly with scales that were a lighter tone of purple. His head crest looked almost identical to Spike's, only being a little too pointy, as well as being a very dark purple in color, and he had purple eyes. The female Dragon had a slim build, somewhat like Ember, moderate blue scales on the majority of her body with an underbelly that had light green underscales that matched Spike's perfectly. Her head crest was green in color and was rounded on the top, matching the shape and color of Spike's perfectly. She had Emerald eyes that were also the same color of Spike's.

"Spike?!" she exclaimed. "How?!! I saw you dead! How-How are you here now?!"

"We've mastered a spell that can make a portal that directs you to the heavens above, Spike can hear and see you, but he cannot reach out and touch you. You cannot do the same to him either, I'm afraid," Celestia explained.

Cozy felt a whole new wave of guilt was over hear as she looked at the little dragon whose life she took part in ending. She teared up before crying as hard as Twilight and her friends did when they first found him terminally wounded.

"S-Sp-Spike," Cozy choked out. "I-I'm s-so sorry. Y-You didn't deserve this."

Spike felt sorry for her. When the Royal Sisters mastered the spell, they filled Spike in on what had happened over the last couple of weeks. When he heard Cozy's story and how she was manipulated, Spike convinced the Royal Sisters to drop all charges against Cozy and wanted to talk to her personally. He also heard about Cobalt's story and that seemed to only make him more determined to talk to Cozy. He also took the time to introduce Tyson and Kimba to his harem, the princesses, Garble, Cobalt, Ember, and Thorax.

"Shhh," Spike soothed. "I know, Cozy. I know why you're the way you are. I forgive you."

Cozy's sadness was replaced with surprise.

"What? B-But why???" she stammered.

"Because Cozy, you and I have a lot more in common that you think," Spike explained. "We both have no real parents, we were both outcasts from society, and we were both taken advantage of. Yes, I too was manipulated by someone as well. He was a Dragon too and his name was Sludge. Smolder and I were on a walk around Ponyville when he suddenly crash landed in front of us. He said he was okay, but I knew better than that. With Smolder's help we took him back to the castle and got him the medical care he needed there. Before he headed back to the Dragon Lands, however, he dropped a giant bombshell that no one expected: He came to Ponyville looking for me. He claimed that he was my father and had gone through a lot of trouble to find me, but as it turned out it was all a big trick just so he could live in the castle and be waited on hand and foot. I was devastated at first, but I realized that I had my true family, Twilight, was with me all this time. How Sludge took manipulated the fact I was an orphan was bad, but how Tirek manipuated the fact that you lost a friend and that you were mentally ill is 100 times worse. I'm sorry we didn't, I didn't, think twice about sending you to Tartarus. It seemed sending you down there only seemed to push you further toward the edge. Which is why when Celestia first mastered the spell and told me about what happened I asked them not to charge you."

Cozy gawked at Spike in dumbfounded amazement. She couldn't believe what she was hearing. The kid who she had killed was forgiving her AND convinced the Princesses not to charge her with any crime. She didn't know what to say.

"I-I'm-I'm speechless. Thank you, Spike," Cozy sputtered. She teared up again, but this time it was out of happiness. "How do I ever repay you?"

"Just promise me you'll be better from now on. I know things were tough for you back then, but I promise you, it will get better," Spike said, his emerald eyes meeting Cozy's scarlet eyes.

Cozy could clearly see Spike soul in those two pools of green that were full of hope. Spike saw the exact same thing in Cozy's eyes, it looked like her soul was broken but smiling right back at him. When the purple dragon saw that, it was at that point he knew that this little Pegasus did indeed have good in her. He also had one last thing he wanted to say to her.

"Cozy," he said. "These other two Dragons are my parents. This is Tyson," he gestured to his father. "And this is Kimba," He gestured to his mother. "They, like me, knew that you didn't deserve jail time because you were forced to do what you did because someone was so focused to bring us down. They would also like to say "thank you" to you for reuniting them with their son. They were killed when the ground beneath their cave on top of a cliff collapsed two weekes before I was born. A passing Dragon caught my egg and delivered it to Celestia. For over 13 years, they didn't know where their son was until that fateful day of the battle. I can't describe how happy they were when they were reunited with me. Now, I have an actual family and they're saying how much they've been proud of me for the choices I've made, as well as convincing them, in forgiving both you and Discord."

Twilight felt tears of pure joy welling up in her eyes. Spike was a kinder soul than anyone could've ever imagined. Everyone else, even Luna and Celestia, teared up with joy as well. Twilight trotted to face the boyfriend she shared with 11 other girls on the heaven portal.

"Spike," Twilight said. "You don't know how proud I am of you."

"Aw, come on, Twilight," Spike said. "I'm just doing what everyone should do."

"The key word is "should", sweetie pie," Rarity spoke up. "There are many people who would reject Cozy in a heartbeat because unlike us, they'd only notice her flaws but they'd never notice her pain."

"Well that ends today," Spike said. "It's time we help Cozy back onto her hooves and place her back in society."

His Harem were more than happy to fill Spike's wishes.

"I must be off now," Spike said. "I promise, though, that I will visit all of you every chance I get."

He placed his claw on the portal screen, and everyone else took the hint and planted their hooves on the portal as well. Even Cozy and Cobalt joined in. Spike and his parents waved goodbye to his friends and they waved goodbye back. Then the portal slowly evaporated and the lights came back on. Cozy and Cobalt both had liquid pride welling up in their eyes. They felt so touched by Spike's kind words and gesture. She stuck out her arms for a hug toward Twilight and she was quickly met with one for the lavender Alicorn Princess. Cobalt, the other harem members, Garble, Celestia, and Luna quickly followed along and they all hugged each other for a solid minute. They broke away and gave one last, kind smile to Cozy before leaving the hospital room, all except Cobalt. Seeing Spike act so kind to a former villain only increased the bold, blue Unicorn's detemintion to help Cozy out of her slump ten-fold.

As for Cozy, it was from this day forward that the pink Pegasus decided to be a better pony. For her own good. For Equestria. Most importantly, for Spike.

"I'll be better," she said to herself. "For Spike. Not the hero I deserved, but the hero I needed...to show me the light. Rest easy, Prince Spike. I pray the heavens pamper you to no end."