• 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 9: Watching Over The Ones He Loves Pt. 1

FOUR DAYS AFTER THE BATTLE, CANTERLOT CEMETERY

Spike let out a sigh as his parents and he flew over the clouds to the Friendship Castle. His parents and he had seen how his harem looked the morning after the battle when they realized he was dead and they were not looking forward to how they'd look at the funeral. They all watched as Spike's harem, Ember, Thorax, and Garble left the castle and hopped on the train to Canterlot. The 15 distraught creatures were soon off and out of sight.

Even though the clouds covered the blue sky with a dreary, gray blanket, Spike and his parents were able to get through the clouds as they were spirits. They now had a clear view of the cemetary. They couldn't believe what they saw. Literally every creature in Equestria was there. Spike knew he was loved amongst many in Equestria, but not a single one of the three angel Dragons knew that everyone's love for Spike ran this deep.

There were, however, one-and-a-quarter dozen seats in the front row. Spike's parents were confused until they saw their son's harem, Garble, Ember, and Thorax arrive in a slow, sad pace. They watched as Garble's buddies flocked to their leader and his emotionally destroyed sister. Pharynx did the same with his brother. Tyson, Kimba, and their son watched as Celestia, Luna, and Cadence walked up with a golden casket. Behind the three princesses was an object obscured by a large, white sheet. They watched as Celestia cleared her throat and start speaking.

"Good afternoon, Mares, Gentlecolts, Fillies, Colts, Dragons, Griffons, Hippogriffs, Changelings, Yaks, Buffalo, and Kirins. We are gathered here today to mourn the end of the life of the greatest Dragon ever known to all of Equestria. Four days earlier, Spike bravely fought against the Legion of Doom to prevent them from killing his lovers and taking Equestria over. The autopsy revealed that his wings had been broken before he had died. Yet, despite his injuries, he still fought against the threat. He successfully tricked the Legion to fire magic blasts at the very object that granted them their power. The magic overloaded the bell and it exploded, stripping the Legion's members of all their powers. Unfortunately, Spike was also caught in the blast. Shards of the destroyed bell were sent into Spike's little body, which tore off 60 percent of his outer scales off of him and left his underscales with severe lacerations, some of them were fatal. The magic blast also burned most of the scales on his abdomen, as well as the skin on his wings, to a crisp and, according to the autopsies, his ability to taste and smell were lost almost instantly due to his sinuses being fried beyond repair. When he hit the ground after the bell had exploded, his wing bones shattered completely. The only thing that was left on them were two bloody, fleshy stumps on his back. The magic was also powerful enough to destroy his immune system and his internal organs were so badly damaged, they were almost unrecognisable."

Spike's parents winced hearing the extent of their son's injuries and Spike looked down at his lovers sadly as they broke down listening to his injuries yet again. He hated the fact that he was unable to comfort them in any way.

"By some miracle, he survived the blast and told his lovers before he died that if they, his friends, and Equestria were safe, that was all that mattered to him. Only one half of his harem was with him when he died, He pled with them in his last seconds of life to pass the message to the other half that he loved them. He was known by many in the Crystal Empire as Spike the Brave and Glorious and there couldn't have been a more perfect demonstration of that term than what he did to save not just the ponies, but every creature in Equestria."

Spike felt absolutely touched listening to the last of Celestia's speech. His parents felt the same way. Their moment was cut short when Celestia spoke up again.

"Anyone who wishes to say their final goodbyes, may do so now," the Sun Princess said

The three Dragons watched as Celestia looked over to Luna and Cadence. They nodded to each other and the top half of the coffin was surronded by Celestia's yellow aura. The top half was opened at a painfully slow speed. When it was opened, about five-eigths of the crowd began to bawl. Among those five-eigths were Spike's whole harem. Spike noticed that Smolder was probably crying the hardest out of all of them. He couldn't help but feel like there was some kind of deeper pain inside her and he could still do nothing to help any of them. He then looked at the mortal form of his body. He was wearing a tuxedo, his arms were folded over his chest, his eyes were still as peacefully closed as they were since his death three days ago, and a small smile plastered his mouth.

"Hey, uh, listen," Spike said turning to his parents. "I'm gonna go down and be with my girlfriends as they give their speeches. Want to come down with me?"

"Yes, son," Kimba said, wrapping her son into a hug. "We will."

With that said the three Dragons flew down to the crowd just as Rainbow Dash was getting up to kick off the speeches. They followed the Cyan Pegasus up to the golden casket. Spike placed a hand on Rainbow's side. He could feel her soft fur against his hand. It seemed, however, that Rainbow didn't even know the spirit of her boyfriend and his parents were right beside her. She let out a heavy sigh before starting her speech.

"Spike, what you did to save all of us is beyond brave. You really are gutsier than I probably will ever be. I know I sometimes I pick on you, but everytime, you've proven me wrong and you don't even gloat about it. I've idolized the Wonderbolts for all my life. Now that I've become one, I haven't had anything to idolize until now. Spike, you're my new idol. I want to be more like you. Then came that love confession. I felt so touched listening to you tell me why you loved me and how you were loyal to me despite my flaws just to see me happy. To be honest, you'd probably be a better candidate for Loyalty than I would. You showed my element when you broke free of Twilight's grasp and fought against those fiends despite your wings broken. I'm feel horrible as hell that it had to end for you like this when you had so much in live for with us," she felt tears welling up as she kept her eyes locked on the Spike's body's face. She leaned in and kissed the her boyfriend right between his eyebrows. "Thank you, Spike, for everything. I love you so much."

Spike and his parents barely had time to process what Rainbow Dash had said before she began to slowly walk back to her seat. She had barely reached the halfway point when Applejack and Fluttershy had walked up to meet her and help her the rest of the way back to her seat.

Pinkie went up next. She seemed visibly depressed. Her mane no longer had the bounciness it usually had and was now deflated. In addition to that, Pinkie's fur also looked a darker and a more dreary shade of pink. It seemed to fit her mood quite well.

"Oh, Spike," she whimpered fighting back the urge to break down right then and there. "I'm sorry. I'm so so sorry. You had your whole life ahead of you, and you could've touched so many lives with your smile, your laugher, and your joy. All those fun times we shared together, all those delicious goodies we baked together, all those cuddle sessions we had together, and all those happy memories we made together. All the things I can't do anymore without you," she paused as she wiped a tear from her eye then smiled sadly. "But you know what? I bet you're making tons of friends already on the other side with your jokes and humor, and that is something I can smile about," she planted a little peck on the right cheek of Spike's mortal form before walking back towards her friends, still wearing that sad smile.

Spike and his parents felt a bit touched listening to the Party Pony's speech. Just as she sat down, Fluttershy got up next. Spike gulped, knowing that Fluttershy would probably have the hardest time out of everyone. Neither he nor his parents knew, however, that Fluttershy was the exact opposite of what they thought.

"Spike, you truly are the kindest creature I've ever met. You've always set aside your needs to help someone else, even at the expense of your own joy or pleasure. Before I met you, I always feared dragons and I avoided them whenever possible. You, however, showed me that there's more than meets the eye on your species by breaking that mold and giving others like Thorax a chance and saving Ember from drowning and giving her the Bloodstone Sceptor even though you got to it first. Words can't describe how much I love you for that. If the truth be told I've been in love with you for almost a year before your confession. Then you met your ultimate fate. At first I was devastated by what happened, but as time went on, I came to realize you did it for us. You were kind enough to give your life up just so we could all keep going. In a way, you represented my Element of Kindness that day. I've learned a lot from you, Spike," she paused as she smiled at Spike. Contrary to Pinkie, however, this one was with happiness, her turquoise eyes radiating with hope and warmth. "Grateful doesn't begin to describe how I feel for being your friend and lover, even though the latter was for a very short time. Even though I accept what happened, that doesn't mean I won't miss you. Always remember that I have a special place for you in my heart," she said in a voice that was a little bit louder than her usual timid tone before leaning into the coffin and kissing the empty husk of flesh, that was once her lover, right on his nose.

Spike just stared at Fluttershy at pure shock. He did not expect Fluttershy to act like that at all. He did feel a bit of relief at seeing her starting the process of healing. He had barely had time to process Fluttershy's speech when Applejack started her approach. Contrary to Fluttershy, Applejack looked like she was going to break down and cry any minute. However, she did seem to be trying to keep it togther to give her speech.

"Well, Spike, I guess this is goodbye. I feel so lost without you. Who's going to work off for a life debt for me after I saved them from a timberwolf?" she stopped and chuckled sadly, remembering that self-imposed debt that he had promised to work off after she saved his life. "Spike, You truly are a dedicated friend, worker, and lover. You represented my Element, when you were throughly honest when told us how grateful you were that we were all safe even though you were dying. It's gonna be mighty quiet without you around. I'll miss you, sugarcube. I've always thought of you as my perfect match. I replay every memory of you from when you were confessing to us how much you loved us over and over again to your-*sniff*-your last moments of life," she sighed and tears began to well up in her eyes. "I know I usually cry on the inside, but this is something that even I can't keep bottled up." She looked down toward him and tried her very best not to break down in a fit of sobs, "You were such a good soul, Spike. You didn't deserve this. I can't even eat, let alone make, an apple pie anymore, because it just reminds me of all the times we baked and ate them together, whether we were being friends or lovers," she choked out. Now, it was taking every ounce of the apple farmer's strength not to break down. She shakily kissed his body's head just below where his head crest ended. The usually strong, tough earth pony looked like a foal that had just gotten a knee scrape. She got no more than three-eigths to her seat before it all became two much to bear at last and she finally collapsed, curled into a ball, and silently cried not caring who watched. Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash immediately got up to cart their emotionally crushed friend back to her seat. Before they got her up, though, the two Pegasi hugged her tightly for a solid 30 seconds.

Spike couldn't get in between his two lovers to hug Applejack. So, he settled with rubbing the top of her head. He wanted to just whisper into her ear over and over again that everything would be okay. If only she could hear him assure her that she would pull through this. Sadly, because he was a spirit, his voice only seemed to be carried away to nowhere by the wind. Spike watched sadly as the two Pegasi carted the crying Apple farmer back to her seat. When they got to her seat, they both embraced Applejack on both sides as tight as they could.

Spike didn't have any time to enjoy that sight before Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo walked up to give off their speeches next, followed by Big Mac, who was carting an exausted Apple Bloom. Spike had no doubt in his mind that it was likely from crying non-stop.

Sweetie and Scootaloo let Big Mac lead the way to the coffin that held Spike's body so they could jump up onto his back to see their lover in his final resting bed and be with Apple Bloom. Sweetie started things off.

"Spike," Sweetie Belle began. "You have always been Apple Bloom's Scootaloo's, and my best friend. You've always pitched in to help us find our cutie marks and supported us when we felt discouraged after failing. When we did get them you never left our side."


"Adding to that, you've stood up to those who bullied us," Scootaloo said. "And you made sure we were okay after you dealt with them."


Apple Bloom had gotten herself together and managed to look at her slain drakefriend, determined to finish off the three-part speech her friends started.

"Then there was the time you spent your day off at Sweet Apple Acres staying with me when you heard from Applejack that I had a cold. You refused to leave my side and I remember you even sang me a lullaby to help put me to sleep. We vividly remember how all those kind things you did lead all three of us to eventually grow a crush on you for your kindness. Then came that love confession. The moment we heard about you being the admirer, Scoots, Sweetie, and I all felt so excited. We fainted twice during that hopsital visit. Everything was perfect for us during those three, short months when we were part of your harem. We were looking forward to being with you forever. Sadly-*sniff*-, i-it seems that the universe had other plans and we lost our one true love, because of power-hungry psychos. However, we're all beyond thankful that you gave us the opportunity to experience love for a very brief time. Please, Spike. Remember that we love you with all our hearts," Apple Bloom finished her speech, feeling a small amount of relief after getting her confession off her chest.

Spike and his parents watched as the trio of filies leaned into the casket and simultaneously kissed his body's still cheek. The heartbroken trio then hopped off Big Mac's back and ran back to their seats without another word, crying silently. Spike had expected Big Mac to follow them back. Neither he nor his parents, however, expected him to have whipped up a little speech of his own for his fallen friend.

"Spike," he began. "It's gonna be really different now that you're gone. I'm still trying to comprehend how you decided that you wanted to go out like that, just to keep us out of harm's way. Guys' night won't be the same without you. Discord's been feeling really, really guilty about what happened. I convinced him to come, but he's too emotionally distraught to even speak."

Spike winced hearing that. He had a feeling Discord would probably one of the ladst ones to move on when it came to coping with his death.

The crimson stallion sighed heavily as he continued. Like his other close friends, Spike's death had also done a number to him emotionally.

"I also knew about Apple Bloom having a crush on you," Big Mac confessed. "At first, I thought she'd get over it, but overtime I saw her falling for you even more, and I wasn't surprised. You know how to treat a girl right and that's something I really respect in someone. I wanted her to confess her love to you, but like all kids in love, she was just too nervous to do so. I remember all those times that Apple Bloom always comes home telling me about how she and her friends would always strike out on quests for cutie marks and how you'd always come in to lift their spirits and encourage them not to give up hope. You've shown me how much of a kind, sweet boy you are, Spike. When I heard about the secret admirer fiasco and that you were the admirer, I knew that there was nothing standing in the way of Apple Bloom finally claiming her first love. Sure enough you got together with Apple Bloom and her friends. If the truth be told, I trusted you without a second thought. You are without a doubt, the coolest guy I've ever met," Big Mac finished. With nothing left to say, he slowly trotted back to where the Cutie Mark Crusaders were seated and hugged all three fillies tightly.

Spike was a little surprised at hearing Big Mac give a speech. It was very rare to hear him talk in a full sentence, let alone talk this much without stopping once. That surprise was overtaken when he saw Garble get up from his seat and walk to the golden casket.

"I may not always liked you, Spike, but after today, you've undoubtedly earned my full respect. Looking back, I am beyond thankful that you came to the dragonlands to cheer me up despite me being a total jerk. I know I've always mocked you for being a wimp, but it seems, as usual, I was wrong about about you. That day, you proved you really are as tough as me and my buddies, maybe even more so," Garble sighed. "I still remember when Smolder fell in love with you. I was a little skeptical at first of where this would go. However, I heard about how you treated her during the three months when you were in a relationship with her. She was always happy with you and she told me how you always made her feel like a true Dragon. That's when I knew that you were the right guy for her. When I received news that you had perished after successfully saving all of us, I felt like my whole world came crashing down. I've heard that you always put your pony pals ahead of yourself. At first, I felt like all was lost for me, until I took one look at Smolder when she saw you on the ground. I made me realize that I needed be there for her and I could deal with my emotions. That's what friends and family do for each other. You may be gone, but you've successfully done something no one else would dare. Straightening me out, and teaching me a very valuable life lesson. So long, little buddy. I cannot thank you enough for helping guide me down the right path," Garble smiled sadly before giving a military salute to the body that was once his former rival. "Rest easy, warrior. You've fought well."

He walked back to his seat. There, he had a brief conversation with Smolder and eventually she got up. Before going up, Smolder turned back to say one last thing to Garble. Spike could faintly make out what she was saying.

"Did you bring it, Gar-Gar?"

Garble nodded and handed Smolder what she was asking for, a red rose that had been stripped of its thorns.

"Thank you," Smolder whispered. She then slowly made her way to where Spike lay in his golden casket. Spike flew up to the casket and watched as Smolder slipped the rose inbetween the fingers on his body's hand that was on top and the back of his hand on the bottom before she took a shaken breath and began to speak. "Spike, you truly are an example of what it means to be a dragon. You're tough, cool, brave, strong, and you have a heart of pure, solid gold. I am fortunate to have become your friend and lover even if was for a very short time. I still remember how I felt my heart would feel so light and fluttery and my face would always heat up a bit whenever I was around you ever since you helped reform my brother, Garble. I also remember that I got this feeling when I began thinking of you. At first, I didn't know what this was and I asked my friends why I felt this way and they told me I, like the Cutie Mark Crusaders, had fallen for you. I didn't believe them, but as time went on, I realized they were right. Then came that confession at the hospital. I was so eager to get my confession off my chest. It was a dream come true to tell you that I loved you, Spike, more than anything. You were so sweet to me, even when we were just friends. I was looking to so many happy memories with you after the battle with the Legion of Doom, but I guess fate had other plans in mind," she paused as she leaned into the coffin, closed her eyes, and planted a kiss on the dead center of the sleeping adolesent's forehead. "Sleep tight, cutie pie. I'll never forget you."

Smolder backtracked no more than one-quarter of her path back her seat before she collapsed and broke down in another fit of tears. Spike immediatly rushed to her aid and rubbed her back soothingly. Even though he knew she couldn't feel it, Spike felt some strange sense of closure himself silently comforting the most emotionally broken of the lot. He didn't do it for very long because Garble had sprung from his seat, scooped up Smolder in his arms, took her back to her seat, and held her in his arms tightly. It was very likely he wouldn't be letting go until the end of this tragic event.

Gabby was up next.

"Spike," she started as two large tears rolled down her cheeks and she squeezed her eyes shut as she tried to keep herself together. "You truly the best creature I've met in my life. You've helped me get past my breakup, you've hung out with me in most of your free time with me, which got someone jealous because she felt lonely without you, and you've always treated me with top-of-the-line respect. No matter how grateful I am to be alive and safe today, I just don't know how to accept this, Spike. You were the perfect one, the one who'd give unlimited happiness for decades to come, and in the span of less than five minutes, you were gone in a flash, just like that. I love you, Spikey. I-I just..."

Gabby got no further before she collapsed on the ground and began to cry hysterically. All that pain and horror from four days earlier kept chipping away at her composture throughout her speech and it finally managed to destroy the last of it.

Spike could only watch as the poor, grey griffon tried to stand up, only for her legs to buckle and she fell back down again, still crying. He ran over to his girlfriend and wrapped her in a tight hug, rubbing her back soothingly. He wanted to just scream out as loud as he could to the whole crowd that he was here and they weren't alone. He hated this. He hated seeing his lovers so sad. He wanted this all to end, to just to be one big nightmare. He wanted to wake up in his mortal body in his bed, surrounded in a cuddle puddle by all his girls, the ones he truly loved.

"I-I-I'm s-so s-s-sorry, S-S-Spike!!" Gabby choked out through her sobs. "W-Why did y-you have to go?"

Starlight was quick to trot to Gabby to cart her back to her seat. The two creatures had barely gotten settled when Thorax walked up next.

"Oh, boy," Spike gulped, worried what kind of mental episode Thorax was going to have. He could only pray Thorax would keep it together as he began to speak.

"H-hey, buddy," Thorax sputtered almost hesitant to speak. "This is pretty hard for all of us especially for your harem, Ember, and me. You were always there for both Ember and me and you never asked for anything in return from either of us. I'm partially to blame for that one because I never thought to give you anything. My biggest regret, as well as Ember's, is that we couldn't be there for you, to return the favor. If it weren't for you, not only would I still be on the run from everyone, but the changelings would also not be reformed," He paused, almost losing composture. "I feel like a piece of me is missing now. I feel scared, Spike. I was told by Twilight how you were so brave that day, how you were able to make a split-second decision to save those you loved, and how you fought through your pain to destroy the Legion. I could never have thought so quickly, let alone work through that much pain. Then to add to that, you displayed your selflessness one more final time when you told your harem that as long as we were all safe, you could rest easy," Thorax said, then he sighed. He had no tears left to cry. "I hope you're well taken care of on the other side, Spike. You've earned it." Thorax walked off, feeling not just sad, but empty too. His head hung low and his usually vivid purple eyes seemed faded.

Spike breathed a little sigh of relief at seeing Thorax not break down like the others. That relief, however, was quickly overcome with more worry. Ember was up next and one look at her face told Spike she was trying hard not to cry her eyes out.

"I don't know what to think right now, Spike. Like Thorax, I too feel like a piece if me is missing. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be the Dragon Lord. You weren't just my friend, you were the torch that had helped light my way and guide me through the other end of the dark tunnel that was my opinion of ponies and friendship. With you gone, I feel like I'm entering a whole, new, dark tunnel, except this time I don't have a torch to guide me through it," she paused for a brief moment. "Thorax and I were absolutely devastated when we saw you. We were so broken up in fact, that we couldn't even fly back home. We were granted a room in Twilight's Castle and we did nothing in that room except just cry thinking about you. Unfair is an understatement of what the results of that battle were that day. You didn't deserve this, Spike. You had so much to look forward to in this world and you threw it away saving us. Even though I'm eternally grateful of what you did, I would give anything to turn back the clock to just show up five minutes earlier than we did," Ember began to tear up and it felt harder and harder to keep her composture. "This isn't fair. What could you have done in your short life that was horrible enough that fate decided that such a painful death at such a young age was an acceptable response to it? Not a damn thing, that's what. When I think about it more, you deserve the title of Dragon Lord more than I do. You got to the Bloodstone Sceptor first, but you handed it to me out of pure kindness." Ember started feeling really bad, "What did I do for you in return? Nothing. I never considered ever asking you if I could help you out with anything important. You always came to me if I needed help. I promised you that you always had one friend in the Dragon lands and that was me, but we barely caught up on any good times we had after the whole Thorax incident and after we managed to hatch the dragon eggs." Ember could take no more, and became the fourth creature that day to break down and cry at the funeral. All that guilt that suddenly reared its ugly head to her during her speech made her feel the worst that she'd ever felt in her whole life. She realized all her mistakes, and she could now do nothing to fix them.

"I don't deserve to be your friend," she whispered through her tears. "I don't know how you kept me by your side until you died."

Spike immediately jumped up and hugged Ember. It wasn't completely her fault. He had never bothered to catch up with her either and did feel a little bad about it. He only could comfort Ember for about 15 seconds. before Fluttershy came up to cart her off. Spike could faintly make out what she was saying.

"Shh, there there. It's okay," Fluttershy whispered soothingly before slowly helping Ember back to her seat.

Next up was Starlight. At this point, Spike was already expecting the raest of the creatures who gave speeches here today to break down, and he was ready to be there when one of his girls broke down.

"Spike, you don't know how lucky I feel to have met, become friends, and be one of the the girlfriends of such a special dragon like you. You were always there for me in my time of need. You were always on the front lines to help me out of a jam when I needed it most. Even after my many, many screw-ups, you never got mad at me. Instead, you accepted me for who I was and you still considered me your friend no matter what happened. In fact, you fell in love with me for who I was and I was totally oblivious to it until you were found out to be the admirer. Shows how great of a friend I was, huh? I was looking forward to making so many happy memories with you after this hectic adventure was over. Unforunately, the Legion made you throw all that out when they threatened the lives of Twilight and the others. In that moment, you made a choice and single-handedly saved your friends and lovers and defeated the villains. In the time you died to this point, I was in such shock by what happened. I spent every second of the last 96 hours trying to fully comprehend your good deed," she let out a sad sigh and a tear hit the ground. "I know you may be gone, but your heroic deeds as well as your spirit lives on inside our hearts and memories." She finished, then before she walked back, she planted a kiss just Spike's body's ear fin before whispering her final sentence, "I love you, Spike. Thanks for sticking by me for so long."

Spike felt touched by Starlight speech. He was also feeling relieved that she didn't break down. He watched as Starlight slowly walked back to her seat just as Rarity made her way up next. Rarity's mane and tail were still the same, but her mascara was running down her cheeks and staining her perfect, white fur. Spike watched as she peered into the coffin that held his mortal form.

"Oh, my little Spikey-Wikey," Rarity whimpered out feeling a whole, new wave of guilt and sadness rush over her remembering that nickname she had given him. "I don't deserve you. You've always had a crush on me and I never really took it seriously until now. After you perished saving us and you managed to croak out how you were happy that we were safe, to forgive Discord, and how you told us to tell the other half of the harem that you loved them, I slowly began to recall all the things you did for me. The time you volunteered to be my personal pincushion, the time you gave me that fire ruby, and all the times you've carried my baggage, all the while not asking for anything in return. When I look at it more, I realize you represent the element of Generosity more than I do, especially during that battle. You were generous enough to give up everything, including your life, just to ensure that your lovers and friends were all safe. When I look back, I've realized I've taken advantage of your affections long before you confessed your love to the other girls and me, and I feel absolutely ashamed of myself. You've always stood by my side when I've cried over stallions who aren't interested in dating me. All this time, the universe was trying to tell me to stop pursuing stallions and get with the one who had always stood by my side no matter how out of line I acted. I finally saw the light and realized that you were the perfect on for me. Unfortunately, just as I was starting to repay your feelings, this happened. There isn't any number of days to tell me that I've fully returned your feelings." she paused and sniffled before using a tissue she had brought to blow her nose and wipe her eyes. "After all you've done for me, Spike, I think it's high time I returned the favor one last time."

Spike watched as Rarity reached into her saddlebag and pulled out a heart-shaped, dark red gem. Spike immediately recognised as the fire ruby that he had given her all those years ago. It was still as flawless and shiny as it was when he gave it to her. He still remembered how Rarity kissed him on the cheek and called him "Spikey-Wikey" for that. He watched as she levitated the flawless gem the coffin and he flew up to see what she did with it. He saw her gently wedging it inbetween his body's hands and chest, careful not to disturb Smolder's rose. Rarity then planted a kiss on her boyfriend's body's still lips for a solid two seconds. Left with nothing more to say, Rarity walked back, but not before whispering one final thing in the coffin.

"I'm sorry, Spike," she sighed, as she started her walk back to her seat.

The last one to speak was Twilight. Next to Smolder, Twilight looked the most crushed out of all of them.

"Spike," Twilight choked out overcome with unbelievable grief. "You're the best best thing that has ever happened to me. You've always been there to keep me in check if I'm ever on the verge of going insane, you've always helped me to get my jobs done without complaining. I know I've always considered you my number one assistant for things like that. As time went on, however, I felt like you were more than an assistant to me. You made your way into my heart enough to make me consider you my crush long before your hospital confession. I rue the fact that I never told you this sooner. In fact, when you turned 18 in Dragon years, I was planning to propose to you, but because of my neglect to come up with a plan to save you, my better half, my Spike, we can never share the happy times that a Drakefriend and Marefriend usually share together," She began to cry. "To top it all off, I realized that my friends and I have almost never considered taking you on our missions. You've always been stuck at the castle or the library cleaning up the place so it looks nice for us when we get back." By this point, Twilight was full-on sobbing. All her past mistakes that she had done without even realizing them hit her full-on. "I'm a horrible lover," she whispered through her tears.

The angel Dragon rushed to her side and rubbed her back comfortingly, only to remember that she didn't know the spirit of her boyfriend was right beside her. Twilight's parents, Shining Armor, the rest of the harem, excluding Smolder, who was still sobbing hysterically, wrapped Twilight into a hug as well.

"It's okay, Twi," whispered Applejack. "We know you never meant to hurt him."

Spike watched as the 13 ponies and one Griffon slowly carried the sobbing Princess back to her seat and reembraced her for the rest of the time

Now that the speeches were done, the Princesses were ready to close the coffin and place it underground to be buried. Before they could do anything, however, a Phoenix came flying overhead followed by another 200 more. The Phonix squawked orders at the other Phoenixes and they began to make a shape while flying in the sky. Within 30 seconds, the shape was complete, and everyone realized that the Phonixes had made Spike's head in the sky while flying in place. Then the Phoenix in the lead broke off and flew down toward the coffin hovering no more that two feet above Spike. Spike flew up to see the Phoenix and it took him no more than half a second to figure out that was Peewee. Peewee looked down sadly at his owner lying in his final resting bed before looking up to the sky and letting out a mournful squawk to the clouds. The other Phoenixes followed suite and squawked toward the sky, mourning the Dragon who had saved Peewee from certain death. After finishing his mournful squawking, Peewee landed in the coffin, wrapped his wings around Spike head, and nuzzled his cheek lovingly. The he flew back up to join the other Phoenixes in the sky. They all cast one last look at the open coffin before flying back to the Everfree Forest.

Once they were sure the Phoenixes were done, The Princesses closed the coffin, lifted it off the stand, and gently levitated the small, golden box the six feet underground to its final resting bed.

Before the Princesses were able to get it even a foot under, however, Ember, Garble and his posse, Smolder, and all the other dragons stood up, walked to the hole in the ground, formed a line on either side of it, turned 180 degrees to face the crowd, looked up, and breathed fire at the sky for a solid 30 seconds. The fire altered colors as it was emmitted, changing from purple to green and green to purple. Everyone watched in awe as the dragons put on their fire show to honor Spike. Spike and his Parents watched with probably the most amazement out of the whole crowd. They had never seen something so beautiful in all their lives. However, Spike couldn't help but notice there were still tears streaking down Smolder and Ember's cheeks and falling onto the ground.

Once the dragons were reseated, the hole had begun to be refilled. It seemed like forever, but the deed was eventually done. Now that their son's body was buried, Spike's parents turned to leave, but the massive object covered by the white sheet caught their eye as well. The Princesses, as if knowing the spirits were right beside them, seemed to have dropped their shovels and walked to the obsured object. They pulled away the sheet and Spike and his partents were in for a shock when it was revealed to them. It was a statue of Spike. He was wearing body armor and holding a sword in his right hand while looking up at the sky with a determined expression. There was a plaque on the front of the base of the statue with letters carved into it.

Here lies Prince Spike
Savior of Equestria
Lover of Twilight Sparkle, Rarity Belle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Starlight Glimmer, Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, Smolder, and Gabby
Aged 13 in pony years
May he forever be remembered

"Attention, everyone," Celestia cleared her throat. "Although my sister and I loved the name "Spike the Brave and Glorious", we felt that it seemed underappreciating for him to keep it after he threw away everything, including his life, just to push not just the ones he loved and considered his friends, but all of Equestria, to safety. Therefore, he shall be known from this day foreward as Prince Spike."

"My son. A Prince," Tyson said as tears welled up in his eyes. "I'm so proud of you, Spike."

Tyson and Kimba wrapped Spike in a tight hug and they all watched as the large crowd of Ponies, Dragons, Griffons, Changelings, Yaks, Buffalo, Kirins, and Hippogriffs slowly left the cemetary one by one. Soon, only Spike's harem, Twilight's parents, Shining Armor, Ember, Garble and his pack of friends, Pharynx, and Thorax were all that remained. Spike was relieved to see Smolder had stopped crying, but was not relieved to see Twilight still sobbing. He watched as Celestia made her way slowly to the bawling Lilac Unicorn.

"Twilight," she whispered in a tone that was even softer the Fluttershy's. "If you or any of your friends ever need any emotional support, please don't be afraid to ask us for help. With each other's help, we can be strong and hopefully be able to move past this event. Spike would've wanted it that way."

"You bet I do," Spike mumbled, hoping this would console Twilight just a tiny bit.

Unfortunatley, it didn't. He heard Twilight start to sob again before she began to do something Spike had never seen her do to anyone. Yell at them in anger.

"I'm sorry, but HOW do you expect us to "move on" from this?! Spike was the rock that supported ALL OF US in our time of need! He was literally THE ONLY ONE who made not just me, but 11 other girls, feel loved and appreciated! Now he's gone not because of his heroic actions, but because I was LITERALLY too stupid to put a plan together and save our Spike and because I can't make a good decision about anything," Twilight choked out between sobs before she began crying even harder. "It's all my fault."

Spike was surprised and sad at the same time. As much as he didn't want to admit it, he knew, in the end, it seemed his death would be something that would take months, possibly even years, to recover from. What he didn't know, however, was that Fluttershy wasn't going to let Twilight wallow in her misery for a second longer. Spike and his parents watched in shock as she swiftly spun Twilight around before pressing her nose to Twilight's. She gave Twilight a very stern glare, her Turquoise eyes blazing with confidence and hope.

"Twilight," Fluttershy began in a serious tone, her usual soft tone had vanished. "I know you miss Spike just as all of us, but I want to get something straight right now. None of this was your fault, you could've done nothing to prevent this. I too felt like this could've been prevented, but then I realized he did it for all of us. He gave up his future, his dreams just to ensure that Equestria was safe again. If it were you in that casket and Spike was here, he would've wanted to be there for us and would've wanted to know that we were able to fully cope with loss before being able to move on. He'd be just as heartbroken as we all are now, but he has optimism that rivals Pinkie and he'd be looking forward to the day when we'd finally fully accept the tragedy. If you want to remember Spike the most, take lessons from what he did in his life so you have something to always carry around with you that reminds you of him in a good way," she looked at the others who were listening intently. "That goes for the rest of you, too. I know it's tough for all of us now, but we'll find a way through this, I promise."

Gabby also spoke up, "Adding on to that, we all should remember him for not just who he was to us, but what he meant to all of us, Twilight,"

Spike saw Twilight tearing up again. He expected her to break down, but did not expect it to be out of happiness.

"Thank you, Fluttershy. Thank you, Gabby. I really needed that," Twilight said through her tears. For the first time in four days, she felt her hope and strength return to her.

"Anytime," the Pegasus and Griffon said in unison.

Everyone cast one last look at Spike's statue before slowly making their way out of the cemetery. Spike and his parents did the same before flying away, happy that the event had ended on a high note. Spike looked back as the cemetary grew smaller in his view. He could see his harem and his close friends and bidding each other farewell. He couldn't hear it, but he knew they weren't wallowing in sorrow anywore by the looks of it. Or so he thought.

MORNING AFTER THE FUNERAL

Spike watched over the Friendship Castle. He had made a mental vow to himself to watch as each of his best friends and harem members traveled on the road to recovery. Most were trying to move on pretty well, but Spike noticed Smolder was having a harder time than everyone else. Originally, he would've guessed that Smolder was taking her time on the path to healing. However, she seemed to be a lot sadder after the funeral. Today saw the worst and saddest Smolder had ever looked for the first time Spike had known her. It wasn't just him that had noticed either. Smolder's other close friends had also taken notice but didn't know what to do. She had distanced herself from the others and no matter what they did, it didn't work. It didn't help that she'd burst into a fit of fresh tears everytime when someone ran into her in the hall and assured her it would be "okay". The funeral breakdown seemed to be the final straw for Smolder's five close friends. Spike overheard them last night vowing to meet tomorrow and pull Smolder out of her slump once and for all. Sure enough, they all gathered around in the library of the School of Friendship to dicuss the anguish of their close friend.

"This sucks," grumbled Gallus to the others. "Our friend is totally crushed and we can do nothing to help her."

"I know," sighed Sandbar. "What can we do, though? She's just vegetating in her room most of the time there has to be some way we can reach her."

"A better question would be why she seems the saddest out of Spike's whole harem," Gallus said. "I mean sure she thought of Spike as more than a friend, but everyone else in his harem is coping better with the event than Smolder is."

"I feel like there's a deeper pain in Smolder that we can't even begin to imagine," Ocellus thought aloud. "Problem is we have no way of telling if that's true or not."

"Yona agree with Changeling statement," Yona added.

"I actually have an idea," Silverstream chimed in. "But I don't know if you'll all be on board with it."

"Tell us, Silvy," Gallus said.

Spike couldn't help but chuckle at Gallus' nickname for his girlfriend, as well as the blush Silverstream gave when Gallus called her that. He remembered the time Gallus and Silverstream finally decide to pluck up courage to ask each other out on a date and they soon became a couple. They loved it, and each other, more than anything and couldn't be happier.

"Well, Smolder does have that big, red Dragon as a brother," Silverstream explained. "I forget his name, but I believe it starts with a "G". She did also mention the he's a poet."

"Oh, that guy?" Sandbar asked. "He is known for being brash, but, according to Smolder, he's trying to snap out of that and he does care very deeply for his sister. It's worth a shot. Let's try it."

The others nodded in agreement. At this point, they'd do anything to pull their friend out of the dumps. Right as they were heading out the door, however, they happened to run into the dragon they were looking for.

"Whoa, easy there," Garble said.

"You're just the dude we were looking for," Gallus said.

"Oh, really?" Garble asked.

"Yes, really," Gallus replied. "Listen it's about your sister, Smolder. We've all been noticing she's been taking Spike's death the hardest out of Spike's whole harem, but every time we try to reach out to her, she just distances herself from us. We're wondering if maybe you could nudge her in the right direction."

Garble let out a sigh. He knew sooner or later they'd have to hear this about Smolder.

"There's something else to all this, you guys," he said. "I'd like you to get Twilight and her friends here too. I want them to hear this as well."

"I'll get them," Sandbar said and ran off.

Spike's ears also perked up upon hearing this. He didn't know what Garble had to say and was eager to see what his former rival had to say.

TIME SKIP

True to his word, Sandbar had gathered the Element Bearers, Starlight Glimmer, the Crusaders, and Gabby rounded up in the Friendship Castle's library. Now, all 16 creature were sitting down ready to listen to what Garble had to say. Spike had gone back to grab his parents so they could listen as well.

"Alright," Garble sighed. "I wanted to tell you all this when Smolder first started attending the School of Friendship, but she begged me not to tell you all this. At a young age, she was diagnosed with severe depression. She does act a little tomboyish, but that's just a cover up because she doesn't want to have others see her deep sadness. When she first came there, I was really worried that they'd make fun of her about it and she tried to weasel out of it when Ember drug her over there. Among those people I assumed would make fun of her, uh...included Spike, I'm sorry to say, because I was worried he'd break off the friendship when he found out I was her brother. In fact, the only real reason I was a jackass to Spike when he came to visit me was to prevent him from finding out about Smolder's depression. Looking back, when I really stopped and thought about it, I realized Spike would've probably supported Smolder rather than teasing her. I just freaked out internally and never stopped and thought to myself if teasing someone over something like this was in Spike's nature. I have a bad habit of acting without thinking. Things were going well after the whole dragon eggs, until I heard about that secret admirer fiasco. I found myself at another crossroads and this time, I made the right choice and trusted Spike with being in a relationship with my sister. After that whole hospital confession, Smolder's demeanor changed dramatically. She found herself becoming more happier. She neglected to take her meds more and more often, until she eventually ditched them altogether after less than two weeks. I can't describe how happy I was to see Smolder finally overcome her depression. Who would've thought my arch-rival would be the one who pulled my sister back on track? So, for about two-and-a-half months, Smolder had no more unhappy thoughts. She was as happy as can be with Spike as her boyfriend, and I, personally, was looking forward to seeing those two, as well as the rest of the harem, growing up together. Then, well, I think we all know what happened on that day. You weren't the only ones who Smolder became distant from. I had tried my hardest to comfort her in those four days, but nothing worked. In fact, she only seemed to feel worse with each attempt I made. I really don't know what to do now. I've done everything I can think of to cheer her up and I'm all out of ideas. I know we haven't gotten along well in the past, but I really need your help with Smolder. She's been sad because of her depression before, but it's never been this bad."

The others were shocked by what Garble had to say. Spike and his parents were probably the most taken aback by what happened. Spike felt a little bad remembering all the memories he made with Smolder. When he did think about it more, the angel Dragon did recall seeing Smolder becoming more joyous and happy with each passing day.

"Wow," he said to himself. "Did I really save Smolder from her depression?"

After a solid minute of processing his explanation, Fluttershy spoke up.

"Well, we're not going to have that," she announced in a tone becoming more like bold Fluttershy. "We cannot stand by and allow one of our own to wallow in her misery while we go on with our lives."

"Agreed," added Twilight. "You know, Smolder's always tried to act normal whenevver she's around us. I suppose she's trying to hide the fact that she's emotionally crushed."

"She does that a lot. Even around me," Garble sighed. "So, what's the plan? I really don't know how to cheer her up."

"Leave it to me, Garble," Fluttershy said kindly. "I think I know exactly what to say to her."

With that said, the 16 creatures raced off back to the dorm rooms to try and put a smile on their depressed friend's face. Garble could only hope that the pain hadn't become too much for his little sister to handle and prayed she didn't do something drastic.

Spike felt a new feeling of relief and happiness rush over him upon hearing Fluttershy's last sentence. He knew that the Cream-colored Pegasus would, without a doubt, get Smolder out her slump now. The memory of how she had given Twilight a motivational speech at the funeral still remained fresh in his memory.

***

Spike and his parents followed the other 16 creatures to Smolder's dorm room. It took them maybe three minutes to get there, but it felt a lot longer to them. They soon arrived at Smolder's dorm room door. Garble knocked in the door and prayed that he wasn't too late. There was about 30 seconds of pure, dead silence, before the door slowly creaked open, revealing a very saddened Smolder. The others couldn't help but look shocked when they got a good look at her. Smolder's eyes were red-rimmed, puffy, and they had datk bags under them. She was leaning against the door jamb because she couldn't even stand up straight. The non-stop crying really took a lot out of her. Her usually vibrant, icy blue irises seemed to have faded. She looked like she was about to cry again.

Spike didn't know what to think. He had never seen Smolder like this before in the time he had known her. Tyson and Kimba looked absolutely dumbfounded looking at their one of their son's girlfriends in such a disheivled state. They had come across their fair share of saddened dragons, but they had never come across a dragon as deoressed as Smolder was before. All three Dragon spirits, like the others, just stared at her with pure shock and a little sympathy as well.

"My god! Smolder!" Gallus exclaimed looking at his depressed friend. "You look horrible!"

Garble shot him a glare.

"She doesn't need that, Gallus!" he said through clenched teeth.

Gallus realized what he said and blushed with embarrasment.

"Oops," he said sheepishly. "Sorry."

"Anyway," grumbled Garble turning back to face Smolder. "Can we come in, please?"

"Sure," said Smolder with a sigh. "Just a heads up, it's a real mess in here."

Smolder flicked on the lights and slowly trudged back to her bed and sat down. The others stepped inside and were greeted with the new look of Smolder's room.

A "real mess" was an understatement of what her room looked like. Empty tubs of ice cream, used tissues, and wrappers from cupcakes and hard candy were scattered all over the place. The blankets on her bed were in dissarray and soaked in tears. Smolder's pillow case and upper bedsheets were also soaked thoroughly in her tears. Smolder did have a trash can, but it was already over flowing with empty ice cream cartons, used tissues, and cupcake and candy wrappers.

Spike felt absolutely awful for Smolder when he did get a good look at his depressed lover's room.

"I'm so sorry, Smolder," he whispered quietly.

He wished that Smolder could hear him say that, but being a spirit meant that moral beings couldn't hear what he was saying. He had seen how she had looked at the funeral and assumed that Fluttershy's speech had provided her with some kind of comfort. Unfortunately, it seemed that wasn't the case.

After a solid minute of silence, Smolder broke the ice and spoke up.

"What are you all here for?" she asked.

"We're here to help get you out of your slump. We know you're mourning, but you can't keep this up forever," Rarity said.

Smolder immediatly teared up again. She had silently prayed that they weren't here to discuss how she was taking Spike's death. Sadly, it seemed that prayer had fallen on deaf ears.

"There's an explanation for that," Smolder said as a tear hit the ground. "I suffer from severe depression. I have so ever since I was really little. I usually act tomboyish around others, but that's just to ward them off so they don't find out about my dark secret. In fact, the only reason I didn't want to come here was because I felt like I'd be a downer at every event here. However, I soon found my place here and I was able to, for the most part, keep my depression at bay. Maybe a sad or bad thought here and there. I'd usually take a couple of sick days and get over it on my own. Then, I fell in love with Spike. Through that whole ordeal, I was torn 50-50. One half of me was excited because Spike was the first boy I was ever really serious about. The other half was worried what he'd think of me if he found out I had depression.

Smolder began to tear up again and it was becoming more of a challenge to keep her composture. The spirits of Spike and his parents could only look more sorry for her as she continued on.

"After that hospital visit and we became more than friends, I found myself becoming more and more happier with each passing day being on a relationship with Spike," Smolder continued, her voice shaky. "I-I think after about two weeks, I ditched my meds altogether and I never had another day when I was feeling even slightly sad. For the next two-and-a-half months, I was on top of the world. I honestly thought it was smooth sailing from here on out."

Smolder gritted her teeth and clamped her eyes shut as the tears brimming in her eyes began to roll down her cheeks. Spike, himself, was beginning to tear up. He had always known Smolder was happy around him, but had no clue whatsoever that her love for him ran this deep because of a good deed he had done for her without even realizing it.

"T-Th-Then, th-this h-happened, a-and I can't comprehend it," Smolder whimpered. "It isn't fair at all. S-Spike was th-the sweetest soul in the world, and fate repays him like this. The only question I have is, "Why?". Spike has never done anything bad to anyone or anything, and yet he had to lose his life. Then, to top it all off, help, including me, missed our chance to save him by no more than three minutes. Even if we couldn't have saved him, I, at least, wanted to say goodbye to him with the others."

The others flocked to the crying, orange dragon that was curled into a ball on her tear-soaked bed and wrapped her in a cuddle puddle. Spike and his were the first ones by her side. Spike just wanted to hold her tight and whisper in her ear that he was right beside her, if only she could hear a spirit's comforting message. They all watched and listened as Smolder choked out her next couple sentences.

"I know he used his last breath to tell us that we were loved, but it's honestly no help for me," Smolder began to full on sob. "I-I w-w-was l-looking f-forward growing up with Spike and the rest of you! I was looking forward to finally be rid of my depression for good! I was looking forward to seeing all Dragons becoming perminant allies with the ponies!"

Everyone was shocked at Smolder's revelation. They knew she was torn up because of Spike's death, but they, not even Garble, had never thought her pain had run this deep. Even Fluttershy was at a loss for words. Spike and his parents could only have so much time to process what she ad said before they could once again watch with complete helplessness as Smolder choked out her next sentences in a fit of tears

"To top it all off," Smolder continued, trying her best not to go into another breakdown. "I don't know I can help any of you move past this event. I know I probably need the most guidance out of everyone here, but I feel like I can't move on from this until I'm sure you all move on."

The second she finished her reasoning, Smolder broke down again and began to cry probably the hardest she had ever done so in her life. She did this for about a solid twenty minutes before finally drifting off to sleep. It seemed the long hours of crying hysterically had finally pushed her off into dreamland once more. Spike and his parents were still processing everything Smolder had said before the soft voice of Fluttershy broke throught the silence.

"I'm sorry, Garble," she whispered. "I didn't know it was this bad."

"It's not your fault," Garble sighed. "I should've kept a more watchful eye on her. I just ran out of my usual options and I let that get in the way rather than trying new things to make her happy."

The others, very carefully, removed themselves from the cuddle puddle. Garble didn't. He didn't want to leave Smolder to wallow in her misery alone any longer.

Fluttershy wracked her brain for a solution, any solution, that would find a way to cheer poor Smolder up and keep her happy. She began to analyze every sentence that Smolder had said. Then, one sentence, in particular, caught her attention.

Spike watched as Fluttershy went deep into thought before she eventually came up with a soultion to Smolder's delima.

"Don't worry, Garble," she whispered into his ear. "I now know exactly what to say to Smolder. It seems that she's been crying for at least six hours and she needs rest. Please keep an eye on her and notify me if she does wake up so I may talk to her.

"Noted," Garble said. "Thanks, Fluttershy."

"You're welcome," Fluttershy whispered and walked out, leaving Garble and Smolder alone.

Spike could only watch as Fluttershy walked out the door. He silently prayed that Fluttershy knew what to say to Smolder the next time they met. Like Garble, he too believed Smolder's life may have depended on it.

THE NEXT MORNING

Smolder let out a yawn as she woke up to find Garble clutching her tightly in bed. The second he saw his sister awake Garble felt a wave of relief wash over him, knowing that today was the day the Smolder would hopefully be pulled out of her depression. The exhausted, orange Dragon had been asleep for a solid 19 hours without waking up once. It seemed the nightmares had decided to take the night off. Garble stuck with her through every second of it. He was bored, but didn't care. He didn't want to leave his sister to suffer with her resurfaced depression alone for another second. The only time he left her side was to use the bathroom or grab something to eat. Spike and his parents had also spent the night watching over Smolder as well. Like Garble, they couldn't bring themselves to leave Smolder to suffer alone either.

"Hey, Smolder," he said quietly to the groggy, orange Dragon. "Whenever you're ready, I want you to see Fluttershy. She told me to tell you that she has something that she wants to say to you."

Garble avoided the subject that Fluttershy wanted to talk to Smolder about. The last thing he wanted was to remind her of why he was even there with her on her bed to begin with, but it seemed Smolder already figured out what was going on.

"It's about Spike's death, isn't it?" she asked.

Garble gulped. He knew there was no point in lying to her.

"Yeah," he sighed.

"Well," Smolder said as she got up and stretched. "Might as well find her and see what she has to say."

"I'm coming with you," Garble said. "You've suffered with your depression alone long enough and I won't let you walk this journey of recovery in your own for another second."

Smolder teared up with pride. She jumped up and wrapped him in hug.

"Thanks, Gar-Gar," she whispered.

"Anytime, Smolder," Garble said as he patted his little sister's back, feeling another wave of relief wash over him at seeing her smile again. "Now, then, let's go see Fluttershy. Hopefully, she gets you out of this."

With that said, the two Dragons freshened up and flew to the castle of friendship to start off in search of the cream-colored Pegasus. Spike and his parents followed close behind, all three silently prayed to the gods and goddesses that today would be the final day that Smolder would be wallowing in her misery. The sibling dragon duo soon ran into her in the castle's dining room, She was having breakfast. When she saw Smolder, Fluttershy's expression instantly brightened.

"Good morning, Smolder, Garble," she said.

"Good morning, Fluttershy," Smolder said before wiping a tear away from her eyes. "I hear that you want to talk to me about Spike?"

Fluttershy felt a bit sorry seeing Smolder like this.

"Yes, Smolder," she replied. "After breakfast, I would kindly request that you and Garble come to my bedroom."

"Okay," Smolder said quietly.

"In the meantime, though," Fluttershy said. "Why don't I stay for your breakfast? You both look like you could use the extra company."

"Really? Thanks, Fluttershy," Smolder said in a tone almost inaudible while flashing her a small, sad smile.

"You're very welcome," Fluttershy said, wrapping Smolder in a hug.

With that said, the two Dragons were each given a bowl of gems, generously provided by Fluttershy and Rarity, and enjoyed looking at the clear, blue sky of the morning.

A LITTLE LATER

Smolder gulped as Garble and she walked to Fluttershy's bedroom. Fluttershy had walked up just a couple minutes before them both to prepare her bedroom for them both. The spirits of Spike and his parents followed close behind.

They knocked on the door.

"Enter," came a voice on the other side.

Garble and Smolder opened the door to find Flutershy sitting at the end of a large couch. She smiled warmly at both of them.

"Please take a seat," she said patting the cushion next to her.

Garble and Smolder did just what she said. Smolder sat in the middle of the couch, next to Fluttershy, and Garble sat on the outside. Spike and his parents' spirits took seats on Fluttershy's bed. It was no more than three feet away from the couch.

"Alright," Fluttershy started. "It's come to my attention that you've had a harder time coping with Spike's death than the rest of us."

"That's a vast understatment," Smolder said as she looked down at the floor and sniffled. "I loved him more than anything and now he's gone."

Another large, single tear rolled down her cheek and fell onto the floor. Fluttershy could've sworn it took the shape of two halves of a heart. There was about a half centimeter gap between the two halves. Each half had a jagged edge where the two said halves would've connected to make a whole heart. Fluttershy and Garble both couldn't help but feel more sorry than before for the downtrodden, heartbroken Dragon. Spike and his parents also noticed it as well. Spike jumped off the bed and sat in Smolder's lap, still knowing the hard fact that she didn't know that the spirit of her boyfriend was right in front of her. Fluttershy placed her hoof under Smolder's chin to pull her head up and she looked her right in the eye.

"I know you're sad, Smolder," Fluttershy said. "But there is something that you don't know. Spike is still here."

Smolder became confused.

"What do you mean?" she asked.

"What is mean is Spike may not be here physically, but he resides right here," Fluttershy explained, placing a hoof on the left side of Smolder's chest, directly above her heart. "He resides in the same place inside me. Another thing you should know is that you have a piece of Spike's spirit inside of you. Everyone who knows has a part of him big or small residing in him, whether they want to believe that or not. You expressed that fact during your tearful confession to us yesterday."

Smolder was still confused.

"How?" she asked.

"Do yo remember how you told us how you feel like you can't start to move on until you know that the rest of us can move on?" Fluttershy questioned.

"Uh, yeah," Smolder said, unsure of where this would go.

"That's something that Spike would've wanted for us if one of us died," Fluttershy explained.

Smolder became shocked before going deep into thought. She began to process all that Fluttershy had said to her. There were six minutes of dead silence as Smolder digested her thoughts. Afterward, she looked at Flutershy with a warm smile and wrapped her in a hug. She was crying again, but it was of happiness this time. Spike and his parents also teared up with pride.

"That's my Fluttershy," Spike whispered looking at the face of his Pegasus marefriend. He couldn't help but notice how she looked so much more beautiful up close.

"You're right, Fluttershy," she whispered. "I do have a part of Spike's spirit inside me. I just needed to see it for myself. Thank you."

"You're welcome, Smolder," Fluttershy whispered back.

Garble also joined in the group hug. The feeling of his happiness was indescribable at seeing his sister going back to her normal self. Spike and his parents also joined in the hug. They already knew they were oblivious to their presense, but it didn't matter. Their prayers were answered and they knew Smolder would be, slowly but surely, moving on the road to recovery a little quicker now. For a solid three minutes, the two Dragons, Pegasus, and three angels just hugged each other and didn't say a word. Both Fluttershy and Smolder knew that, with each other's help and lessons from Spike during the short time they were a part of his harem, they could help each other move past this tragic event. When they broke away, Fluttershy spoke up again.

"If you ever feel lost again as you cope, I'll be more than happy to direct you back on the path of recovery," she said.

"Thanks, Fluttershy," Smolder said.

Garble wrapped Fluttershy in another tight hug.

"Thank you for helping my sister," he said. "You don't know how much this means to me."

"Anytime, Garble," Fluttershy replied. "Anytime."

After breaking away, Fluttershy spoke up again.

"I'm heading out on a walk. Would you two care to join me?"

"Yes, please," said the two dragons simultaneously.

Fluttershy chuckled.

"Very well, then," she smiled. "Come on."

Spike turned to his parents.

"I'm gonna go with them want to join me?" he asked.

"You bet, son," chuckled Tyson.

"Think of it as a family bonding experience," added Kimba.

Spike immediatelyhugged both his mom and dad.

"Sweet!" he said. "It'll be nice to be out of this Castle for a change and you'll get to see all the great sights of Ponyville. I've lived here for as long as I can remember."

With that said, the three creatures, and three spirits, headed out of Fluttershy's bedroom and outside. They all knew that there would, hopefully, be no more sad days for any of them as they continued their journey on the road to recovery.

Author's Note:

My first chapter over 10,000 words! Wow, this was a pain for me to write.