Twilight's "Baby" Dragon

by SuperPinkBrony12

First published

(Story idea requested by Yaakov Lubin. Takes place in an AU post Season 5.) Spike finds himself in a parallel universe where he is an actual baby being cared for by Twilight. He struggles to find out how he got there and how to get back.

(Story idea requested by Yaakov Lubin who also serves as proofreader. Takes place in an alternative universe after Season 5.)

One morning, Spike wakes up to find himself in a strange and unfamiliar place. To his surprise he discovers that he's an actual baby dragon with an emphasis on the "baby" aspect. And Twilight is his caretaker.

Curious as to why no one remembers him never being this before, Spike tries to figure out how he ended in what he concludes to be a parallel universe. And more importantly, how he'll find a way back to his own universe.

In the meantime, Spike will have to get used to having a mommy. And there will be much he'll come to learn about this parallel universe and its Spike's whereabouts.

A Diapered Dragon

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The first thing Spike became aware of as he opened his eyes was the presence of something in his mouth, something... rubbery for lack of a better term. He didn't know what it could be, he couldn't remember falling asleep with anything in his mouth and it was too soft to be his own claw. So what was it? Something about it felt familiar, but for whatever reason he couldn't put his claw on what exactly it was (or why he'd have it in his mouth in the first place).

The little dragon then started to notice something else as his surroundings came into view. Everything around him looked so much bigger than he was used to it being. Yeah, he was kind of small compared to most ponies but the size difference had never been this noticeable and obvious. Had there been some kind of spell cast to make everything bigger, or... he fought back a gulp, to make him smaller?

"Something is... different. But what?" Spike mentally pondered, finding it harder than normal to gather his thoughts and not just because he was still in the process of waking up. It felt as if something was fighting inside of him, telling him that he was "too little" to be thinking the things he was thinking. Fortunately, it wasn't strong enough to consume his thoughts and with a good deal of mental straining he could keep it at bay. At least for now.

Everything looked the same as far as Spike's green eyes could tell. Even though things were much bigger there was no mistaking where he was, that sparkling crystal castle he and Twilight had been living in ever since their old home had been destroyed by a certain centaur's magical fireball.

But as he looked around the room again, the little dragon started to realize that he wasn't in his bedroom. In fact, he wasn't in his own bed at all. To either side of him rested huge, wooden bars. Bars spaced too closely together for him to squeeze through and too high for him to climb over. Directly over his head rested what could best be described as a mobile, one containing the sun and the moon in exaggerated fashion. In short, Spike found himself in a crib. But how? He didn't remember Twilight getting one or having one.

And there was still the issue of that rubbery object in his mouth. But now that Spike had had time to adjust to his surroundings and wake up a bit more, he gazed down at himself and knew there could be no mistaking the object resting in his mouth: A baby blue colored pacifier made to loosely resemble a sapphire gemstone. Spike spat it out in shock! "What the?!" He exclaimed as he watched the object drop onto the sheets in front of him. "What's going on here?! Twilight?!" He frantically called, hoping that she was nearby and could help him figure out what was behind his current circumstance.

Meanwhile, Spike also noticed something else that was still on him. Something that was hugging his rear quite snuggly and felt soft to the touch. It looked like a pillow, but Spike knew better. Pillows weren't worn on your butt. It could only be one thing, a diaper! And the dragon knew he hadn't gone to bed with one on, he knew he hadn't worn diapers in years and neither had Twilight made him wear them. This had to be the result of some kind of spell, hopefully one that Twilight could undo when she came.

Fortunately, it seemed Twilight had heard Spike's cry of distress because she soon entered the room and immediately trotted over to Spike. Strangely, she didn't seem to react at all to the pacifier, the crib or the diaper. It was as if she'd seen it all before. But she still had her wings and that increase in height that had come with her ascension to alicornhood, so the possibility of this being a different Twilight didn't seem likely.

"Twilight!" Spike cried out again as he slowly tried to stand up, only to find that his legs felt more like wet noodles as they fought against him (the diaper certainly not helping matters with how it seemed to push his legs apart). In fact, come to think of it, his legs and arms seemed smaller and pudgier than he remembered them being. Had he somehow regressed overnight?

Twilight, for her part, didn't seem to believe anything was out of the ordinary as she approached the crib and stood by its side. She yawned, rubbing a sleepy eye. "My, it seems my Spikey Wikey is being rather fussy this morning," She commented in a motherly tone. "It's okay, baby. Mama's here for you now."

At that the little dragon blinked in surprise. "Mama?" He knew he hadn't misheard but he was still confused. Twilight never called herself that around him and he'd most certainly never called her that as far as he could remember. Truth be told he felt more of a maternal connection to her mother, as well as to Princess Celestia and to an extent Princess Cadence. Those were the ones he remembered caring for him the most as an actual baby, not whatever he was right now.

Twilight only cooed as she used her magic to effortlessly lift Spike out of the crib and pull him close to her body. "That's right, baby. I'm your mama, Twilight Sparkle," And she encouraged. "Can you say 'Twilight'? Come on, you can do it. Say 'Twilight'."

"Twilight, what's going on?! Stop it already!" Spike whined and protested as he tried to get her attention. "I'm not a baby! Why are you doing this to me?!"

But it seemed like Twilight didn't hear anything. It was as if all she could hear was gibberish considering her response. "Almost, cutie. We'll have to keep working on that. 'Twilight' is a big word though."

Spike just stared in disbelief. Why could he understand Twilight but she couldn't understand him? It didn't make any sense at all. Everything was the same except for himself. Maybe he really had regressed somehow without knowing it? Or maybe this was all a dream? But if it was, why wasn't Princess Luna intervening and why did it feel so real?

Well, those were thoughts for another time and place as the dragon soon found himself being floated over to a nearby table. A table with a soft, padded surface that he was subsequently strapped to. Come to think of it, a part of him was feeling unusually damp for some reason.

"Let's get you changed out of that wet diaper," Twilight cooed as she bent down beneath the table to open a drawer. "I don't want my baby dragon getting a rash again. The last time you got one you kept me up all night with your cries."

Spike gasped as he looked down at himself, noticing that his diaper was indeed wet! How had he not noticed before?! He couldn't remember the last time he hadn't been able to hold it in until he could use a bathroom. It seemed like he really was a baby. But he still didn't know if it was due to a spell or if something else was involved.

One thing was for sure, this was definitely not his Twilight. The Twilight he knew hadn't changed a diaper of his in many years. In fact, she'd rarely changed his diaper when he'd last been a baby. What little he could remember of his hatchling years involved his needs mostly being taken care by Twilight's mother and father, or occasionally Princess Cadence when she came over to foalsit.

This Twilight, however, changed the diaper as if she'd done it all before. Quick as a flash she had undone the tabs and yanked the old diaper out right from under Spike, dropping it into a nearby wastebasket without fanfare. Then she lit up her horn, summoning over several wet wipes to clean Spike's rump until it was spotless. Finally, she secured a new diaper, sprinkled in just the right amount of powder and fastened the tabs. "All done." She motherly cooed as she lifted Spike off the changing table.

At the least, Spike was grateful to be in a clean diaper again. No wonder babies cried whenever they had an accident, it was so uncomfortable.

Just as Twilight had finished the diaper change, the door to the room opened again and in strolled a very familiar looking unicorn mare. Her cutie mark alone left no mistake about her identity, it was Starlight Glimmer. "Morning Twilight, morning Spike." She greeted, confirming that she too seemed to think nothing was out of the ordinary.

Spike found this most odd. It served to yet again indicate that aside from his appearance (and the way Twilight was treating him) everything was exactly as he remembered it being. He'd just gotten used to having Starlight as a guest in the castle while she was undergoing friendship studies with his Twilight.

This Twilight seemed to sense Spike's confusion, but also seemed to think that something else was behind its outward display. "It's okay, Spike. Starlight is not the same horrible pony that she used to be. She's reformed now, she's staying with me while I teach her about the magic of friendship."

Starlight giggled as she used a hoof to tickle Spike's tummy. "Oh, who's the cutest wittwe baby dwagon?" She cooed in exaggerated fashion. "You are. Yes you are. Yes you are."

"S-stop it, Starlight!" Spike protested as he couldn't keep himself from laughing. He was relieved he'd just been changed because he was sure he would've wet himself from how much Starlight was tickling him.

Starlight did appear to respond to her name as she ceased her tickling assault. "Aw, you remember my name. That's so sweet," She declared with a smile and patted his head. "Don't go growing up too fast now, you hear?"

So it wasn't just Twilight who was not the same as Spike remembered her being, Starlight Glimmer had also been affected somehow. Or maybe it was just him? Maybe it was part of whatever it was that had been cast upon him?

Twilight then declared to Starlight as she yawned a bit. "Well, I was hoping to sleep in a little longer today but it seems little Spikey-Wikey had other ideas. I should probably get him fed before he starts getting too fussy again."

"Want me to do it for you?" The unicorn mare offered with a wink. "You always make it look so easy."

"I don't see why not," Twilight nodded in approval as she yawned once again. "Just make sure to be careful what you feed him, he can't quite digest solid foods yet. So that means no gemstones."

"Not even if I crush them up for him?" Starlight inquired.

Twilight quickly responded. "Well, maybe you could do that. That is, if he behaves himself," And she then said to Spike. "Mommy's going back to sleep for a little bit. You be a good little dragon for Starlight, okay?"

Spike grumbled and snorted, dismayed that no smoke escaped his nostrils. Even though he knew it wasn't his Twilight, the way that last line had been delivered had reminded him so much of how his own Twilight always scolded him whenever he did something wrong. And now that he thought about it, he wondered what his Twilight was doing, assuming she was looking for him. Maybe she hadn't noticed he was missing yet?

Spike kept dwelling on those thoughts, wondering what could be going on with his Twilight and her friends. It was better than dwelling on his current situation from which he could see no real escape. He'd always resented being called a baby dragon, he'd had no desire to go back to his hatchling days and he was quite certain his Twilight would never agree to let him relieve them while serving as his caretaker. And he was certain that his Starlight would never agree to either, and neither would she have cast a spell to bring something like this about.

So how was he going to get out of... whatever it was he was currently trapped in? He really didn't see much of a chance of convincing this Twilight or this Starlight that he was not their Spike. And if he couldn't convince either of them he didn't see himself having much of a chance of convincing their versions of his friends, not even their Rarity, their Fluttershy or their Applejack.

Starlight Glimmer, for her part, didn't seem to pay any attention to Spike as she clumsily carried him with her magic. It was clear that she didn't quite have that gentle, reassuring touch that Twilight had. Still, it was strong enough to ensure that Spike couldn't escape from it. And soon, she had brought Spike to the kitchen and plopped him down into a highchair. It looked just like the one Spike remembered from his old baby pictures, but it couldn't be the actual one because it wasn't meant for him exactly (it was meant for the other Spike, wherever he was).

Spike grumbled and protested as Starlight tied a bib around his neck and removed his pacifier, then retrieved several jars of baby food and a plastic spoon. "Why are you being so fussy today, Spike?" She asked him in an impatient tone of voice. "Did you not sleep good last night or something?"

"Maybe it's because I'm not your Spike!" Spike thought to himself as the little dragon mentally resigned himself to the inevitably of being spoon fed. But then a rather naughty idea came to him. If he could find a way to force this Starlight to leave him alone, he could do a little bit of exploring and hopefully get to the bottom of things. There had to be pictures around somewhere that could help him figure out what had happened to the other Spike, the one that was actually a baby.

Starlight used her magic to dip the plastic spoon into the first jar, covering it with a pasty yellow colored substance that she then brought it towards Spike's mouth. "Here comes the Canterlot Express." She declared in exaggeration fashion while making playful "Choo Choo" sounds.

Spike just kept his mouth shut, refusing to open it.

"Come on, open up! Twilight does this with you all the time, I've seen her do it." Starlight groaned in annoyance as the mare nudged the spoon closer only to still be denied.

The little dragon just waited until the spoon was right in front of him, then he reached out and grabbed hold of it as best he could with his pudgy little claws! With all his might, he turned the spoon around and flicked it, hurling its contents straight back towards an unsuspecting Starlight!

Before Starlight could react the baby food splattered against her face with an audible impact! Spike couldn't resist giggling and clapping his claws together, feeling proud of his accomplishment.

"Ugh! Now look what you've done! I'm a mess!" Starlight complained in annoyance and rose from her seat at the kitchen table. "Just stay there while I get cleaned up. And I'm gonna tell Twilight about this, you're going to be in a lot of trouble, mister!"

Of course, Spike wasn't willing to obey orders from this Starlight Glimmer. As soon as she was out of sight he wiggled his way out of his highchair, finding it difficult to do so at first due to the bar being in place. But he was soon free, resorting to crawling since he found it easier to move around that way.

But now the little dragon groaned, remembering how it was so hard to find one's way around the castle due to the hallways and the many similar looking doors. Even if this castle looked a lot like the one he called home, he couldn't be sure if every room was exactly the same as he remembered it being. Some rooms might have been changed by this Twilight or this Starlight.

Knowing that it wouldn't be long before this Starlight would come looking for him, Spike opted to just crawl towards the first open door that he laid eyes upon. He figured that would be as good a place as any to start his search.

Said door led the little diapered dragon to one of the castle's many bathrooms. In fact, he remembered it being the one he often liked to pose in front of the mirror of. It all looked the same, really. But of course everything seemed bigger to him given his smaller size.

Well, now that he was in here perhaps he could do something to assert his independence. A way to show this Twilight and this Starlight that he wasn't a helpless baby, and just maybe be able to convince them that he didn't belong in... wherever it was he'd ended up. Locking eyes with the toilet, he quickly got an idea in his head. "If I can use it, that'll at least show this Twilight and Starlight that I don't need to wear diapers and that I can take care of myself," He thought. "Maybe it'll even break whatever spell or enchantment sent me here and I'll finally get some answers!"

Spike crawled as fast as he could towards that all mighty porcelain throne, grumbling upon discovering that of course the lid was down. Did he really expect it not to be? This Twilight certainly didn't seem like the type of pony who would do that. But it wasn't like he had other options, there wasn't a toddler potty that might have been easier for him to use. From the way that Twilight had been talking it didn't sound like potty training was even close to being an option yet.

The little dragon tried to grasp both ends of the lid to try and raise it, hoping that maybe he could get enough of an opening to put his tail underneath and lift it the rest of the way up. He remembered that's how he'd initially managed when he'd started using the toilet (though it had helped that he'd grown a bit from the time of his hatching).

But Spike hadn't gotten very far when he heard what sounded like a gasp, and the next thing he knew he was being enveloped within a familiar violet red aura. Sure enough, he was brought before this Twilight who now seemed far more wide awake than she had been earlier. "Spike, what do you think you're doing?! You're not supposed to be in here without a grown-up! It's not safe for you."

Knowing that this Twilight probably wouldn't understand what he'd been trying to do, Spike just pointed to the toilet and then to his diaper in the hopes she would get the hint. Even if he couldn't get through to her, he at least wanted the chance to be diaper free again.

It seemed this Twilight understood, at least partially. "Oh, you really think you're ready?" She asked the little dragon as she looked down at him. "You have been waking up dry more often lately now that I think about it."

Spike put his claws together, hoping and pleading for the answer he wanted.

Alas, this Twilight seemed to shake her head. "I don't think you're quite ready yet, Spike. At least not for the grown-up potty. Maybe if you can go a few more dry nights, we'll see about getting you a training potty," Then she carried him out of the bathroom. "But for now, you're just gonna have to stick to your diapers. Don't worry, I'm sure you'll get out of them soon enough if you really want to. With all the books I've read I know I'll be able to train you properly."

Spike could only grumble and sigh, so much for his opportunity. And he still knew nothing about where he was or why he was stuck like this.

Playdate and Discovery

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This Twilight was definitely more skilled at spoon feeding than Starlight, probably helped by the fact that this Twilight was now far more awake than she had been earlier.

Spike was glad when it was over, he absolutely hated the way all that baby food tasted. And he was even happier when he was given a warm bottle of milk to wash it all down. Then he felt himself be picked up and placed over this Twilight's lap as she patted his little tummy repeatedly. With no control over his own body, Spike felt himself let out a tiny burp as this Twilight just cooed. "Good boy, Spike. That's my little dragon."

"If it weren't so patronizing I wouldn't mind it so much," Spike thought to himself. "If only I could figure out how to get this Twilight's attention and make her realize I'm not her Spike. But how?"

The little dragon thought about this for several minutes. He still didn't know for sure if this wasn't some enchantment or some kind of spell that had backfired. He kept trying to rack his brain to remember what he'd been doing yesterday, but it always felt like there was a fog. A part of him that always kept telling him not to think about such things because he was "too little".

Because Spike was thinking about this so much, he almost didn't notice when he saw this Twilight pull out a buggy. Not just any stroller though, it looked exactly like the one he'd remembered his Twilight using years ago when trying to escape a mob of ponies who wanted her ticket to the Grand Galloping Gala. But he hadn't seen it since, he'd just assumed his Twilight had "borrowed" it as part of her disguise (and he certainly didn't remember a diaper as part of his disguise).

This Twilight seemed to notice the odd look Spike was giving the buggy, but she just smiled as she gently placed him into it and popped the light blue pacifier into his mouth again. "We're going to go to Sugarcube Corner for a playdate," She smiled at him. "And then we're going to stop at Rarity's to pick up your favorite blanket that you ripped a hole in."

"Don't forget about that picnic you're going to have with your friends," This Starlight reminded this Twilight. "If you need me to babysit him again, I'm more than happy to do it."

This Twilight only giggled in response to the offer. "We'll just have to see how my little Spikey Wikey is feeling about being around so many faces." And then she pushed the buggy out the front door of the castle.

Spike could only sigh and lean back against the pillow provided for him. At least the roof over his head kept the sun from shining down directly on him, so that was a blessing. Still didn't change the fact that he was in an actual buggy being paraded around like an actual baby. But maybe that would mean he could talk to the Cake Twins? Maybe they would know something was up?

The trip to Sugarcube Corner passed uneventfully for Spike, which was a relief to him because he knew he was going to hate all the obsessive and excessive coos and baby talk that would surely be directed at him when ponies saw him like this. He already was dreading how this Pinkie Pie and this Rarity would react to him, the latter especially since even if it wasn't his Rarity the idea of any version of her seeing him in such an infantile state would be humiliating beyond words.

At last, mare and dragon reached the familiar bakery with that cupcake-like roof. Quick as a flash, this Twilight floated her young charge out of the buggy and performed the customary diaper inspection.

Spike, for his part, could only take solace in the fact that this public inspection was void of other witnesses. It didn't stop his cheeks from flushing red with embarrassment though.

"All clean, for now," This Twilight motherly cooed as she lit up her horn, summoning a huge diaper bag that she slung over her left shoulder. "If you need anything though, just let me know. I made sure to come prepared, like a good mommy should."

All the little dragon could do was look down at the ground. Secretly, he hoped that the Pinkie Pie in this world/timeline/wherever he was wasn't around. At least he could feel confident in the Cakes not going too overboard with the cooing and the remarks, if only because they would already be doing it to their children and wouldn't have much to spare for Spike.

Alas, Spike's hopes and prayers were dashed when he heard a familiar bubbly voice shout out! "Twilight!" And soon enough, this Pinkie Pie came bouncing right over to reveal herself. She looked every bit the same as the Pinkie Pie Spike knew, nothing out of place with her.

"Hello, Pinkie Pie," This Twilight smiled and waved as she approached her cheerful, pink coated friend. "I hope it's okay if I came by a little early. Spike was being really fussy this morning, again."

This Pinkie only waved a hoof back. "Oh, don't be silly. You're never too early. You know how much Pound and Pumpkin Cake love playing with Spike. He's been their best friend since they were in diapers."

Spike's ears picked up on that little detail and he immediately began to dread what would happen when he met this version of the twins. They were sure to brag about their lack of need for diapers while he was still stuck in them, assuming he'd be able to understand them which was a big if.

"Well, potty training Spike is still a ways away," This Twilight declared as she moved to sit down. "Considering how much of a hoofful he's been now, I can only imagine how much harder he'll be when I start teaching him how to use a toilet."

"If you ever need any help, you're always free to ask me!" This Pinkie Pie chirped! "Since Pound and Pumpkin Cake started their training, I've been learning a lot just from how Mr. and Mrs. Cake do it."

This Twilight then inquired. "Speaking of Mr. and Mrs. Cake, where are they?"

This Pinkie only giggled and answered by booping Twilight's nose. "You silly filly. They're across town for a baker's conference, they told you that when you were setting up this playdate. We all agreed that I'm more than responsible enough to take care of another little one. And if anything does go wrong I've got you to help me put it right."

This Twilight seemed to blink in realization. "Sorry, I guess I've just been so busy between taking care of Spike and making sure Starlight's lessons come along smoothly. But I couldn't just turn her loose after all she'd done."

"Oh, it's no problem at all," This Pinkie sincerely smiled as she bounced over. "You just relax and unwind. After all, this playdate was your idea. And you know little Spikey Wikey here is in good hooves with his Auntie Pinkie Pie. Isn't that right, Spike?" She proceeded to pinch the little dragon's cheeks.

Spike tried to swat at this Pinkie with his little claws, but he couldn't even get close to where her hooves were.

This Pinkie thankfully soon ceased her pinching to scoop up Spike, carrying him away. "Aren't you excited to see your friends again? Pound and Pumpkin Cake have missed you so much since your last playdate!"

Just as Spike feared, this Pound and Pumpkin were not wearing diapers as he was brought over to a playpen near the kitchen and gently lowered into it.

"Play nice now," This Pinkie Pie instructed. "And if you need anything make sure to ask, that's what I'm here for."

Spike, for his part, just sat in his corner of the playpen and gazed off into the distance. He didn't want to look at this Pound and Pumpkin at all, he just knew they would mock him and tease him for still being in diapers.

Of course, this Pound and Pumpkin didn't seem to care that Spike was avoiding eye contact with them. They'd learned from their Auntie Pinkie Pie that whenever someone was being a grump, they had to work hard to try and cheer them up. Smiles were always so much better than frowns. This Pound spoke up first as he gently poked Spike's thick scales to try and get his attention. "Hewwo."

Spike refused to turn around or say anything.

This Pumpkin decided to speak up next, a bit more forcefully. "Hey, why you ignowing us? Ya Spike, ya awways pway with us."

"I'm not your Spike." Spike coldly grumbled but said nothing more.

This Pound just giggled. "What you mean 'Not ouw Spike'? Of couswe ya ouw Spike! Ya wook wike him, and ya weaw diapees wike him."

This Pumpkin then declared. "Ooh, ya pwaying pwetend, awen't ya?! Is okay, ya don't have to be mad. We onwy just stawt potty twaining a few weeks ago."

The little dragon just huffed. At least he knew that this Pound and Pumpkin Cake could understand him, but they too seemed to think there was nothing out of the ordinary about him. Not even in the way he spoke. "It's not because of that. I'm not playing anything. I'm being sincere. Somehow, everyone but me thinks I've always been this way but I know I haven't been. I haven't worn diapers in years."

"Nu-uh," This Pound protested with a shake of his head. "Ya been in diapees since befowe Pumpkin and I came out of Mommy's tummy. Aww the gwown-ups say so."

This Pumpkin happily nodded in agreement. "Yeah. They say ya been in diapees since Pwincess Twiwight hatch ya when she not much owder than us. She did it as pawt of some test to get into a schoow."

"So, parallel universe it is, then," Spike realized as he knew there was no way any sort of enchantment could be behind this. If it was, it would've affected him too, making even him believe what the twins had just told him. "Still doesn't explain how I got here or where the other Spike is." He thought to himself. But he couldn't think of any way to raise this subject with either foal, they'd just think he was being silly.

"Oh, ya wemembew now!" This Pound declared while clapping his hooves together in delight! "In fact, ya biwthday is just befowe ous. So evewy yeaw we have ouw biwthday pawties on the same day!"

And this Pumpkin chimed in. "Yeah! Too bad the next one isn't fow two mowe months. We awways get wots of pwesents on ouw biwthdays."

The little dragon couldn't help but feel a slight pang of jealousy upon hearing that. Even before a certain incident on his birthday, he'd only ever gotten one present from Twilight and it was always the same thing. He was lucky to ever get presents from anyone else. But apparently that wasn't a problem for this Spike that he'd abruptly replaced or somehow traded places with.

"Hey, cheew up," This Pumpkin remarked upon noticing the pronounced frown on Spike's face. "I bet ya gonna be in potty twaining too by the time of ouw next biwthday pawty. Then we can aww be potty paws!"

"Yeah!" This Pound smiled. "Potty twaining is wots of fun! And when ya get good at it ya don't have to weaw diapees anymowe! Ya fwee to do whatevew ya want!"

Spike just sighed. "I'm sure that's nice, but it's not up to me when I start anything. It all depends on what..." He paused and then reluctantly continued with. "Mommy thinks. If she doesn't think I'm ready then that's that." And not wanting to dwell on the subject any longer, he simply turned his attention to some of the toys scattered about the playpen.

The twins were happy to join in playing with Spike, they had no qualms sharing their toys with him and Spike was too afraid of what this Twilight might do to him as punishment to even think of misbehaving.

A ways into the playing, however, Spike and the twins became aware of a certain odor that was permeating their surroundings.

Spike froze in horror and realization! "No, it can't be!" He thought although he knew it was probably true. A smell like that the smell he was smelling could only be the result of one thing.

It seemed like this Pinkie Pie knew this too, for she came bouncing over and upon sniffing the air she immediately plugged her nose with her hooves. "Uh-oh, I think somedragon just made a stinky winky," She declared as she bent down to retrieve Spike from the playpen. "We'd better changie wangie your diaper wiaper right now a wow."

This Twilight happened to come trotting over at that moment, perhaps having overheard what this Pinkie had just said. It didn't seem like the stench bothered her at all, which seemed to confirm that what the twins had said earlier was true. "I can change him myself, Pinkie. He's my baby dragon after all."

But this Pinkie only shook her head. "It's alright, Twilight. You just relax, I can take care of this. I know it's been a while since I changed the twins, but I've helped you change Spike once or twice."

"Well, if you insist," This Twilight appeared to agree as she floated over the diaper bag. "Make sure to use plenty of powder, his scales are very sensitive."

This Pinkie gave a salute to her unicorn friend. "Will do, Twilight," And then she turned to Spike. "Come on. Let's get you changed and smelling nice again," Then she instructed to the Cake Twins. "You guys stay there. If you need something, ask Twilight. Auntie Pinkie Pie will be back real soon."

And indeed, this Pinkie Pie was true to her word. She bounced upstairs with Spike and soon had him placed upon the changing table in the twins' nursery, no doubt Mr. and Mrs. Cake had yet to renovate it. Quick as a flash, Spike felt his old diaper be removed and tossed into a waiting wastebasket. And almost before he realized it he was being wiped and powdered. This Pinkie was incredibly fast, the change had to have taken less than two minutes tops.

When this Pinkie was all done she dashed across the hall to the bathroom to wash her hooves, and dashed back before Spike even had a chance to try and get down from the changing table. "There we go, all better," She patted his head. "You're a little stinker, aren't you? Well that's okay, your Auntie Pinkie Pie loves you no matter how much of a stinker you are."

Spike could only groan and mentally curse under his breath. This was exactly what he'd been afraid of. Still, he was grateful for the swift diaper change. It was remarkable how it could've been faster than the practiced precision that the other Twilight had shown earlier in the same day. And he couldn't remember his actual hatchling days, so he had no way of knowing how much it rivaled his Twilight's mom or Cadence whenever they'd changed him.

Aside from the "accident" the playdate came and went with little fanfare for Spike. Eventually, however, it seemed that this Twilight decided the playdate should end. "We should probably head over to Rarity's now," She told Spike as she picked him up with her magic. "She's got to have finished repairing your favorite blanket by now. Maybe you'll sleep better with that," And then an idea struck her. "Ooh! Maybe I'll even get her to make you something to cover your diaper, I'll bet you'd look good with a cute little onesie."

Spike blushed anew at the thought of wearing something even more embarrassing and babyish than a diaper, especially something designed by Rarity (even if, again, it was not his Rarity). But he knew he was powerless to prevent such a thing from happening if indeed that's what this Twilight proposed and that Rarity agreed to make.

The trek across town to Carousel Boutique was considerably less relaxing for Spike, owing to the fact that by now so many ponies were out and about. And it felt like he couldn't go five miles without this Twilight stopping the buggy to let ponies look at him and fawn over how cute he was. So many recognizable faces that he was so used to seeing on his own on a day to day basis, even Big Macintosh with whom he was used to sharing a "secret" guys night with.

And yet that was nothing compared to how much this Rarity seemed to coo and fawn over Spike from the moment she saw him with those sparkling, sapphire blues. "Oh, little Spikey Wikey," She declared in an exaggerated tone upon greeting him and this Twilight at the front door of her boutique. "Always so nice to see you. You've been a good little dragon for your mommy, haven't you?"

Spike didn't say anything, he was far too embarrassed and was terrified of what he would sound like to this Rarity. He was already dreading what sort of fashion related "makeovers" he might be subjected to.

"Aw, are you being shy today?" This Rarity cooed upon noticing Spike shrinking from her gaze. "You don't need to be afraid, Spikey Wikey. You love spending time with me. Why, last time you were here you couldn't leave me alone for five minutes even thought Twilight was right there. Oh, you must've been so torn up about your special blankie."

This Twilight quickly coughed into a hoof, getting her fashion friend's attention. "That's kind of why we came over here, Rarity. I don't know what it is, but Spike has been fussier than normal today and I think it has something to do with him not having his favorite blanket to sleep with. I was hoping you'd have it fixed."

This Rarity happily nodded and ushered mare and dragon inside. "Of course it's fixed, darling. I haven't met a fashion emergency yet that I couldn't handle," She led them both upstairs to her workshop, which looked every bit like what Spike remembered his Rarity's workshop being like. It even had those horse stands used for display. And resting on one of them was a baby blanket the same color as Spike's pacifier. "Here it is, good as new!"

This Twilight happily accepted the object, floating it over to Spike with a smile. "You even washed it." She commented upon getting a whiff of the fresh scent it emitted.

This Rarity smiled back. "I was careful not to completely remove your scent from it, I just washed a few parts since I had some spare time," And then she told the little dragon. "You should take better care of your blankie, darling. It's been through so much already. It's not invincible."

Spike just accepted the blanket, hoping that this meant that this Twilight would take him back to the castle now.

However, this Twilight seemed to find it odd that Spike was not more enthusiastic about the blanket and stared at him in confusion and concern. "Spike, is something wrong?" She asked him while noticing the far off gaze he seemed to have. "Don't you like your blanket? Wasn't it nice of Rarity to fix and wash it for you so it's nice and clean?"

This Rarity just commented to this Twilight. "I've never seen him act like this, Twilight. Is he feeling okay?"

"I don't really know, Rarity," This Twilight answered with a frown. "He hasn't really been himself since he woke up this morning. He was particularly fussy when I changed his diaper, gave Starlight a hard time when she tried to feed him, and I caught him in one of the castle bathrooms."

It seemed like something came to that Rarity's mind given the gasp she let out! "Ooh, I think I might know what the problem is!" She excitedly declared. "Wait right here, darlings. I have something that Spike might be interested in. Oh, I hope I still have it."

The fashionista returned shortly with a slightly dusty and worn looking pink plastic bowl, gently plopping it down on the ground in front of her. "Here it is, Sweetie Belle's old training potty."

"Rarity, why do you still have something like that?" This Twilight questioned as she blinked her eyes in uncertainty.

This Rarity was quick to answer. "Well, let's just say that someponies were more than a bit laid back when it came to enforcing potty time for Sweetie Belle. I daresay, if not for me she might have been the only foal left in the entire world of Equestria who still wore diapers," And she added. "I kept meaning to donate it since it's still in good condition, just needs a bit of dusting and re-painting, but I never managed to find the time."

It didn't take long for this Twilight to put two and two together. "You think he's ready to start using a potty? I don't know, Rarity. He already woke up wet this morning and had an accident during his playdate with the twins."

This Rarity only cooed as she nudged the potty closer to Spike. "It can't hurt to let him try, darling. At least it'll give him an idea of what it's like," And she then encouraged. "Go on, Spikey Wikey. Why don't you try it out? Maybe you can show your mommy and I how big you're getting."

Spike, for his part, just stared at the plastic bowl. True, he didn't want to be stuck in diapers if he could help it. But at the same time he wasn't exactly thrilled with the idea of using something meant for a toddler. He was used to using a toilet, an actual pony toilet. Plus, he really didn't like the idea of using a training potty in front of other ponies. Especially not this Rarity and Twilight. "Maybe if I could take off the top and put on a toilet seat, they'd realize I'm not their Spike?" He thought to himself.

The little dragon slowly moved towards the potty, trying to grasp at the top half of it with his little claws. At the least he could do that.

"Ah ah ah, Spikey Wikey," This Rarity scolded him as she quickly moved the plastic bowl a ways back. "That's not what the potty is meant for. You're supposed to sit on it."

This Twilight could only shake her head. "See? I told you he wasn't ready yet. And I don't think potty training has anything to do with his behavior. Something is not right with him."

This Rarity then suggested. "Well, you could always take him to see a doctor. That might be able to help you."

"I may just do that, Rarity," This Twilight agreed. "But thanks for the offer, and thanks for fixing his blanket. Maybe he'll feel better after he goes to sleep with it."

This Rarity only waved a hoof. "Oh, it was nothing," And then she looked down at Spike. "You let me know when you start being a big dragon, I have some fantastic outfits that'll make your potty training much easier."

All Spike could do was blush anew for the third time this day. He wasn't looking forward to any of that, and he sincerely hoped he could figure out how to get back to his universe before having to endure it. Come to think of it, he wondered what was happening to the other Spike right about now (assuming that he'd swapped places with said Spike, which he still had yet to figure out).

"Don't worry, we will," This Twilight happily declared before she brought Spike close to her once again. "Come on, Spikey Wikey. Let's go home and get you ready for your afternoon nap." And soon, mare and dragon were leaving Carousel Boutique and heading back to the castle.

The Other Spike?

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Twice now in one day Spike had struck out on trying to assert some form of independence. He still didn't know how he could hope to get this Twilight's attention, let alone where her Spike actually was. Heck, he didn't even know how much more of this obsessive cooing and babying he could take. He didn't even want to think about possibly getting used to it all.

The little dragon thought and contemplated all this and other things as he was pushed back to the castle in the stroller, that blanket from that Rarity close by.

"Bet you're glad to have your favorite blankie again, huh, Spike?" This Twilight cooed as she brought the stroller up to the front steps of the castle. "It's been so long since you had it. I was worried by the time Rarity fixed it you might outgrow it," She paused and wiped a lone tear from her eye. "I'm sorry. I know you can't stay a baby forever. But no matter what, you'll always be my little Spikey Wikey!"

Spike could only groan and curse while diving beneath the sheets, hoping to hide his blush. "I never thought I could grow tired of Twilight actually giving me attention all the time," He thought to himself. "Even if it's not my Twilight."

The castle's front door opened and Spike was freed from the stroller just as this Starlight happened to come trotting up. "Hey Twilight, back already?" She seemed to tease.

This Twilight just played off the comment with a smile. "Oh, I couldn't stay all day. I've still got the picnic, and Spike has to take his afternoon nap. He needs it after the way he's been acting today. Good thing Rarity finally fixed his favorite blanket for him."

This Starlight just stretched. "My offer to babysit him still stands, you know."

"Thanks, but I think Spike can handle a picnic just fine," This Twilight answered. "You need to keep working on your studies. One of these days in the near future, I'm going to give you your first true lesson. Better make sure you study hard."

The unicorn mare nodded her head. "Oh, I am."

Spike, for his part, just stood there. He knew it was a futile gesture to protest nap time even though he didn't feel tired. He knew this Twilight was going to put him down for a nap whether he wanted to take one or not. And his suspicions were soon proven correct when he was picked up in the soft glow of her magic once again, carried off with that baby blue blanket in tow.

Mare and dragon entered the nursery together, Spike soon finding himself being floated into the crib as this Twilight opted to check his diaper again. "Nothing yet, still clean. That's good, hopefully it'll stay that way for a while longer," Then she flashed a knowing grin at him. "Now, I know you're probably not feeling sleepy yet. But lucky for you I have just the thing to remedy it!"

As if she'd just heard what this Twilight had said, this Starlight came trotting in with the proposed solution: A nice, warm, creamy bottle of milk. "I had a feeling you'd want to give him a bottle when you got back, so I went ahead and whipped one up," She declared. "Oh, I hope I didn't mess it up somehow. I even put in some crushed gems to make it taste better for him like you told me to."

This Twilight accepted the bottle without hesitation. "I think Spike will be the judge of how good it is," She floated its rubber nipple over to him. "Go ahead, drink up, every last drop!" She coaxed.

The little dragon reluctantly did the only thing he could and grasped the rubber nipple of the bottle with both of his pudgy claws. He was feeling kind of thirsty now that he thought about it. It took a lot of effort for him to get that first drop to come out, but once he did it was easy to just lean back and fall into a routine.

Both mares cooed and awwed at how adorable Spike looked as he gulped down the bottle in the blink of an eye. Then Twilight picked him up and patted his back, burping him. Then she popped the pacifier into his mouth and wrapped him in that baby blue blanket, kissing him on the forehead. "Sweet dreams, my little Spikey Wikey." It was the last thing Spike would hear before he closed his eyes and nodded off.

For how long Spike slept, he wasn't aware. Eventually, however, the little dragon did wake up as his eyes fluttered open slowly. A quick look around dashed his hopes. The crib was still there, the pacifier still in his mouth and the diaper still wrapped around his hind quarters. It wasn't a dream. True, he'd kind of ruled out the possibility of that already but it was still disheartening to have his suspicions be confirmed.

"I need to find out what happened to the other me," Spike thought to himself as he stood up in his crib, finding it hard to do. "With any luck that'll tell me how I got here and how I can get back to my own universe."

Just then, light suddenly flooded the little dragon's vision as the nursery door opened and this Twilight stepped in. "Well well, look who's finally awake," She spoke in that soft, motherly tone of hers. "Somedragon must've had a really good sleep. I knew that blanket would do the trick. You never could get to sleep without it."

"Not like I could do much else around here." Spike pouted and folded his claws across his chest.

"Ah ah, don't be a cranky dragon on me now, Spike," This Twilight scolded as she approached the crib. "If you don't behave yourself, I'm not taking you with me to the picnic. You'll just stay here with Starlight," That seemed to immediately make Spike clam up, more out of surprise than anything else. "Good," This Twilight smiled as she floated Spike out. "Let's check your diaper real quick, and then we can get ready. I know everypony will be happy to see you again."

The little dragon could only curse under his breath. His encounters with this universe's Pinkie Pie and Rarity had been every bit as humiliating as he'd imagined them being. He most certainly wasn't looking forward to not only spending more time with them, but also dealing with this universe's Applejack, Rainbow Dash and especially Fluttershy. He could only imagine what this Fluttershy would do.

Because Spike worried so much over this he all but failed to notice this Twilight subjecting him to yet another diaper inspection. He barely even felt it, that's how quick it was. The padding was quickly snapped back to its original position. "Wow, I'm amazed you've kept it clean for this long!" She commented with what sounded like sincere amazement and only the slightest hint of exaggerated praise. "Maybe Rarity was right after all. If you keep this up, you'll definitely be ready to graduate from diapers," She again paused to wipe a tear from her eye. "Oh, here I am getting sentimental again."

Against his better instincts, Spike reached out to give this Twilight a hug. He didn't know why but he felt compelled to do it to her to cheer her up.

This Twilight acknowledged the hug from Spike and returned it full force. "Thanks, Spike. You really know how to make Mommy happy. Seems like only yesterday you were born or I should say hatched. I never expected to become a mommy, especially not to you. But now I can never imagine my life without you. In a way, you were the first friend I ever had," It took her a moment to regain her earlier composure. "Sorry, that just sort of crept up on me," She then set him down on the floor of the nursery. "Stay here, okay? I'll be back for you soon."

Giving a nod to confirm his obedience, Spike watched as this Twilight disappeared. He had no idea what she was going to do, but he had no intention to try and wander away again. It's not like he really had anywhere he could go right. Unfortunately, being a baby there was little chance he could escape.

It did give the little dragon a chance to better observe his surroundings though. His green eyes were in particular drawn to what looked like a small rack of framed photos. Curiously, he crawled towards the shelf that the rack stood above to get a better look. Something about the photos caught his eye from afar and he wanted to know what it was.

A closer inspection revealed a rather startling detail about those photos! They weren't just random pictures of random events, oh no. Every single one Spike looked at showed him (or perhaps this universe's him) along with this Twilight at events he remembered from his own universe: Twilight after her entrance exam into Celestia's private school, Twilight hanging out with her old friends at Donut Joe's, Twilight's 'Welcome to Ponyville' party, the first Grand Galloping Gala with her new friends from Ponyville, the royal wedding of Shining Armor and Cadence and so many others.

What was even odder though was that the last photo on the rack depicted what had to be this universe's Shining Armor and Cadence announcing that they were going to have a baby. Everything was the same as Spike remembered it being from that celebration in his universe, except here he was front and center with this Twilight (in his universe he had joined the party at Sugarcube Corner late due to not being informed ahead of time about it). That had to have been just a few short weeks (maybe two months tops) before Starlight Glimmer had returned and used the table map to go back in time.

So why was there no photo of Spike with this Twilight at any point after this Starlight was taken on as a student of friendship? Spike remembered from his universe that his Twilight had seen fit to document the occasion with a photo, albeit one just being the small circle of friends and not the whole town of Ponyville. Had this Twilight thought otherwise for whatever reason?

Spike didn't know, and he wouldn't get a chance to find out since it was at that moment that this Twilight came back. She had a diaper bag strapped over her left wing and a small pouch with leg holes just the right size for Spike hanging around her chest. "Okay, Spike. I'm all ready!" She happily told him! "Let's get going, the girls will be expecting me at the picnic at any moment now."

And before Spike could say anything or do anything in protest, he was picked up by Twilight's magic and floated into the pouch that was the same baby blue color as his pacifier and blanket. Was baby blue this Spike's favorite color or something?

Well, those were thoughts for another time and place as he and this Twilight disappeared in a flash of violet red magic.

Mare and dragon soon reappeared on a familiar hill overlooking Ponyville, the exact same kind of hill that he knew his Twilight and her friends always gathered on whenever they had picnics.

Sure enough, this universe's Pinkie, Rarity, Fluttershy, Applejack and Rainbow Dash were all there and were waiting for them. And all of them immediately turned their attention to Spike, much to his embarrassment once again.

"So, how did you like your blankie now that I fixed it up all nice for you?" That Rarity cooed as she used her magic to pinch his little cheeks.

This Twilight happily answered. "It worked like a charm, Rarity. He slept for far longer than I ever remember him sleeping before, and he didn't bother Starlight or I once. I really can't thank you enough for fixing it, he was so torn up when he ripped it by accident."

That Rarity only cooed further. "Oh, it was nothing, darling. I just hated seeing little Spikey Wikey all upset."

That Rainbow Dash then declared. "Hey, is it just me or does it seem like he's gotten a little bit bigger since the last time we saw him?"

"It's probably just 'cause we haven't seen him since the Helpin' Hooves Music Festival." That Applejack suggested as she patted his head.

That Fluttershy was quick to remark. "Oh, I hope he's okay with being out and about again after all this time. He probably didn't like being kept inside all day."

This Twilight only waved a hoof. "You were all more than welcome to come and see him whenever you wanted. Besides, what we were doing after the festival was the kind of stuff a baby doesn't need to be involved in. And Starlight's been great at helping me keep him under control."

Despite what this Twilight had just said, the gears in Spike's mind began to turn. He could still think like the not so little dragon he actually was, even if that was harder to do than normal. "Wait a moment! Now it all makes sense! In my universe, Starlight messed with time to try and get back at my Twilight," He thought and contemplated as a horrible realization began to creep in. "What if in this universe, she did something that caused the me that's supposed to be here to disappear?! Maybe I got sent here by mistake!"

That was it, that had to be the case! The Spike that was supposed to belong here had gone missing somehow, most likely as a result of this Starlight's stopping of the Sonic Rainboom. If in the universe Spike remembered coming from a simple act like that could produce radically different timelines with each attempt, who knows what might have happened as a result of this Starlight's actions?

But he still didn't know where the other Spike was. And he still had no idea about how he'd gotten here or how he was to ever get back. Not just get back, in fact, but also hopefully find a way to put the other Spike back here where he belonged. Assuming the Spike that was supposed to be a baby wasn't in the care of the other Twilight (the one that Spike saw as a big sister), or in the care of any Twilight that could care for him, he was probably frightened, scared and worst of all alone.

This Twilight seemed to notice the troubled look on Spike's face as she asked him. "Hey, what's wrong, Spike? Are you feeling okay?" She put a hoof up to his forehead to check and see if he was running a temperature. He was not.

"Oh, I hope we didn't startle him unintentionally or something." That Fluttershy declared with concern, a look of worry befalling her in an instant.

That Pinkie Pie quickly bounced over. "I'll bet he's just hungry. You forgot to feed him before you came to this picnic, didn't you, Twilight?"

This Twilight blinked slowly in realization. "Oh, I totally did. I can't believe I did. I'm usually so on top of things. I guess I'm still a little out of it for having woken up so early with him today."

"It's not just that, is it?" Spike thought to himself, now more convinced than ever that something was wrong with this universe. This Twilight's behavior alone was very troubling. "Whatever happened to her Spike is affecting her badly. If only I knew what it was and how to fix it." And then and there he decided that that was just what he'd done, preferably once he had time to think of a plan.

Getting Back Home!

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The picnic came and went without much fanfare for Spike after that. He now knew what had likely happened to the other Spike, the one he'd replaced either intentionally or unintentionally. Yet that still left him with no clue as to how he was going to get back to his own universe, how he would inform this Twilight that he was not her Spike as she seemed to think he was.

And of course, no one else was going to help him. Everyone he'd encountered so far believed him to be the Spike of this Twilight, an actual baby dragon younger than even the Cake Twins despite being hatched before they were born. It gave him the idea to look into the aging of dragons when he got back to his universe, if only so he could know if dragons always aged so slowly no matter what.

It wasn't until night had fallen and the moon was high in the sky that Spike was brought back to the castle by this Twilight. And he was so tired that he fell asleep as soon as he was laid in the crib.

This Twilight wasn't bothered or concerned, she just kissed him softly on the forehead and left the nursery. "He'll need all the sleep he can get," She thought to herself. "Can't believe it's been so long already since he was hatched. I feel so old."

Spike hadn't been asleep for long though when he suddenly found himself waking up again, or so it seemed. When he suddenly fluttered his green eyes open the little dragon discovered that he wasn't in the crib. He didn't have that baby blue pacifier in his mouth, and best of all he wasn't wearing a diaper.

To his surprise, Spike saw the familiar figure of Princess Luna standing over him. Not his Princess Luna, he quickly reminded himself. "Hi... Luna." He greeted, wondering if maybe she could understand him.

It appeared that she could considering that this Princess Luna immediately replied. "A warm welcome to you, Spike. My apologies for not being able to meet with you sooner."

At that, Spike stumbled back in surprise and confusion. "What do you mean? You know about me? About how I'm... not actually the Spike everyone thinks I am?"

This night princess firmly nodded her head, giving off what appeared to be a half smile/half frown. "Indeed I do. From the moment I couldn't initially access your dreams I suspected something was off. There is no way you would keep such defenses up willingly," And she explained. "Something magical was blocking me, preventing me from reaching out to you in your dreams."

"It must be a result of whatever it was that brought me here," Spike concluded as he scratched his head. "It's the same kind of thing that's been telling me I'm not who I think I am even though I know I'm not actually a baby."

This Luna nodded in agreement. "Indeed, you are not. The Spike you are replacing is."

The little dragon then inquired. "So, what exactly happened to him? I know he was still around during the Helping Hooves Music Festival. And that was just over a month ago in my universe. The next thing I remember happening was Starlight Glimmer coming back and messing with time."

"That is when the Spike of this universe disappeared," This Princess Luna explained. "Even after Starlight Glimmer was defeated, repented and allowed time to be restored, the Spike here did not return. He has disappeared, lost to the sea of time. Most likely, like you he has been thrown into a parallel universe."

Spike was quick to ask. "So, how do I get out of here? Am I supposed to find the missing Spike?"

This Luna protested with a shake of her head. "It would be impossible for you to do that. Twilight has already commissioned Starlight to do that, and it is a task that Starlight has been undertaking every day and night since her defeat. It was only just last night that she finally got the map to reactivate."

The little dragon said nothing, but mentally he recalled. "Now that I think about it, the map in my universe hasn't been working since the whole ordeal with Starlight."

"I would assume that she cast some kind of searching spell, and did not specify a Spike when she cast it," This Luna went on. "So the spell simply pulled the first Spike it could come across, and you must've met the criteria."

"And the barriers to my dreams?" Spike asked even though he really needn't have bothered to.

Sure enough, this Luna answered. "A byproduct of that spell."

Spike let out an unhappy sigh. "Great, so it's high level magic we're dealing with. And I think it's safe to say that my Twilight hasn't realized I'm missing yet. If she were I'd bet she'd know how to get me back."

This Luna firmly declared as she trotted over to the little dragon. "You must find a way to do it yourself, Spike. You will have to figure out some way of breaking the enchantment's hold on Twilight, no matter how painful it will be for her to realize she hasn't gotten her Spike back."

"But how am I supposed to do that?" Spike questioned with concern and let out a small puff of smoke in annoyance. "I've already tried to find ways of getting her attention and showing that I'm not her Spike. Nothing's worked."

This Luna put a hoof to her chin in thought. "I will try to reach out to Starlight Glimmer informing her of my discoveries. She may know more than I do how best to break the hold. But perhaps you need to consider a less direct method. Something that would make sense for a baby to do when they wanted attention but couldn't speak."

The little dragon just scratched his head. He had no idea how he would do such a thing.

This Luna then began to depart from the dream. "I'm afraid I can't stay here all night to help you. As Princess of the Night I have a responsibility to oversee the dreams of others and intervene as needed. I'll do my best to help you, but the rest is up to you. If you wish to return home, you must find a way to get through to Twilight." And that was the last thing Spike heard before he returned to his dreamful slumber.

Next morning dawned much the same as the one before it for Spike. He woke up bright and early still in the crib, still in a diaper and still with a pacifier in his mouth. Nothing had changed.

Resigning himself to the inevitable, Spike just lay in the crib and waited for this Twilight to come in and check on him. He was already certain he'd need another diaper change, and then he was going to be spoon fed again. Chances were that for the foreseeable future it'd be a routine for him. An unpleasant one at that.

Sure enough, this Twilight came in as if on a schedule and soon approached the crib to pick up Spike with her magic. "Good morning, Spike," She cooed while checking his diaper. However, to the surprise of both mare and dragon it didn't need a change. "Wow, a dry night again!" She commented. "Guess maybe you waking up wet yesterday was just a coincidence."

Spike briefly found himself unable to keep from getting excited? Was this Twilight perhaps going to let him graduate from diapers? Even if it wouldn't necessarily get her attention, at least he'd have a bit more freedom.

Alas, this Twilight only carried Spike out of the nursery while telling him. "Well, let's see if you can go one more night without any accidents before we consider potty training. Besides, I don't think I'm quite ready for all the effort that'll require."

The little dragon's heart sank. "So much for that. At this rate I don't know if this Spike will ever stop being a baby," He thought. "Maybe this Twilight doesn't want him to?" He shook his head. No way would any Twilight ever be that crazy. And considering what he'd seen his Twilight do, he knew she was capable of some pretty crazy things.

This Twilight only smiled as she brought Spike into the kitchen, placed him in a highchair and tied a bib around his neck. "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day they say," She told Spike. "Mommy has to make sure you're getting your nutrition. All good mommies do."

And so Spike resigned himself to the humiliating process of spoon feeding once again. The food tasted only slightly less awful this time around and that was only because he was prepared for it. At least the bottle offered to him afterward helped wash out the awful taste like it did last time. That was one thing he was grateful for.

Once spoon feeding was done, Spike was taken to the castle library where he found a rather large (at least by his standards, though maybe that was due to his smaller size) playpen had been set up. It was clearly meant for one occupant, himself. He was soon placed into it as this Twilight smiled. "Go ahead and play with whatever you like," She encouraged him. "Mommy will be right here if you need anything."

But the little dragon just sat there. He didn't really know what to do and none of the toys in the playpen interested him, they were too babyish and he was not a baby.

Of course, just sitting in the playpen was boring and there wasn't really anything else for Spike to do. So eventually he caved in under boredom and started crawling around, looking for something he could do to pass the time.

Suddenly, as his green eyes eyed a stack of alphabet blocks, the little dragon got an idea! That Princess Luna's suggestion from the night before played back in his mind. Maybe the alphabet blocks would get this Twilight's attention and break the hold the spell had on her. It seemed worth a shot at the very least.

So Spike gathered up various blocks and began to lay them out so that they would spell out a message to this Twilight. He'd just have to be careful when getting this Twilight's attention so that he wouldn't destroy his message by mistake. "Please, oh please let this work!" He mentally pleaded!

At last, after a lot of careful planning and placement, Spike had spelt out the message he wanted to send to this Twilight. Now all that remained was getting her attention.

As if by fate, it was at this moment that this Starlight chose to enter the library. "Hey, Twilight," She called out, catching the alicorn's attention. "Just wanted to see if there was anything you needed my help with."

"Thanks, Starlight, but I've got everything under control," This Twilight replied as she stood up. "How are your studies coming along?"

This Starlight answered. "Oh, they're coming along alright. I'm still waiting for my first official friendship lesson though."

This Twilight just smiled. "Patience, Starlight. I'm still working on narrowing it down. You'll know what my decision is soon enough though, another week tops."

That seemed to satisfy this Starlight, before she happened to take notice of something out of the corner and let out a gasp! "Twilight, you might wanna take a look behind you! I think Spike has something he's trying to say!"

The young alicorn turned around as prompted, and her eyes befell a most unusual (and unexpected) sight: The words "Not Spike" spelled out via alphabet blocks. It seemed like she knew what the letters were intended to convey, as though some kind of spark that flashed in her eyes. "You're... not my Spike." She declared in a sad and somber tone, the realization creeping into her tone of voice.

Convinced he'd made a breakthrough, Spike quickly set to work on spelling out another message with the blocks! It took some effort, but he was able to spell out "Go Back".

This Twilight began to tear up again, wiping away said tears as best she could. "You're right... you don't belong here," She apologized as she trotted up to the playpen, sniffling a bit. "I'm... I'm so sorry, really. I didn't mean to take you away from your own universe. I just wanted my Spike back, I miss him so much. I was so hopeful when Starlight told me she'd found you."

This Starlight apologized. "I thought I had, originally. But Princess Luna just told me about your dreams, about how she couldn't get into them right away," She too seemed to start tearing up. "I... I'm not sure how things work in the universe from which you're from, but here I ended up causing Twilight's Spike to disappear. All because I wanted to get revenge, and thought time travel was the best way to achieve it."

Spike leaned over the playpen to give both mares a hug. "I know you probably can't hear me," He said to them both. "But I know you didn't mean for any of this to happen. I just want to go back to my universe, to my Twilight and her friends. I don't want to be a replacement for your Spike, though."

To the surprise of the little dragon, his comments were heard and acknowledged (probably a result of the hold breaking) as this Twilight wiped away her tears to the best of her ability. Then she hugged him back and told Spike. "You're right. I can't ask you to do that for me. This was all a mix-up. I'll... do my best to send you back now." And she lit up her horn, eventually pressing it up against his forehead.

Spike shut his eyes in uncertainty. He had no idea to know what to expect.

When at last Spike saw fit to open his green eyes, he found himself apparently back to his normal size. He wasn't wearing a diaper anymore and he didn't have a pacifier in his mouth, which was a great relief to him. A quick look around seemed to suggest that he was safely back in his own little bed, back in his own universe.

Just then, the door to the room Spike was in was opened. And in trotted Twilight, his Twilight. "Oh, good morning, Spike," She greeted him, seemingly unaware of his day long disappearance. "Surprised to see you up so late."

"What do you mean?" Spike questioned. "How long was I asleep for?"

Twilight just answered while shooting Spike a confused look. "Only a couple of hours, you went to bed pretty late last night. Why do you ask?"

"You... don't remember me being gone at all?" The little dragon questioned again.

"Gone where?" Twilight remarked as she scratched her head with a hoof. "Are you okay, Spike? Did you eat some strange gems or something?"

Spike immediately shook his head. "N-no, I'm fine, Twilight!" And he immediately realized something. "She doesn't have any recollection of my disappearance. Whatever spell was cast on me must've frozen time here or something like that. It's like I never left."

Twilight then noticed something about Spike. "Hey, what's that you have on you now?"

"What?!" Spike asked in horror! Terrified that it might actually be a diaper or something else babyish that he hadn't noticed earlier.

Twilight just pulled it out with her magic and held it up. "It's just a scroll, Spike. No need to act frightened." And then she unfolded said scroll and read it aloud:

Dear Spike,

I hope this scroll finds you well. And I want to again apologize for what happened to you. It was never my intention for you to be a replacement for my missing Spike.

You'll be happy to know that not long after I sent you back to your universe, Starlight and I were able to get a lead on my Spike's whereabouts. It would appear he ended up in the care of a Twilight in a parallel universe in which she never hatched her Spike. And just like you, she was led to believe she'd always had that Spike.

While Starlight and I will probably have to do a lot of restorative work on the various timelines to protect the multiverse, I at least hope that this scroll will survive until you can make it back to your own timeline.


Other Twilight Sparkle

Twilight blinked as she read and re-read the scroll again. "What's this 'Other' Twilight Sparkle? Spike, is there something you want to tell me?"

"What is there to talk about? It sounds like everything worked out just fine," Spike nervously insisted. "Besides, you're not my mom."

"Well, maybe not. But that doesn't mean I'm not concerned about your well being, Spike," Twilight told the little dragon as she then gently and sincerely pleaded. "If there's ever anything you want to talk about with me, you can. I will always be here for you no matter what. And I hope you understand that."

Spike firmly nodded, before giving Twilight a small hug. "I know. I'm still glad you're a part of my life."

Twilight smiled as she returned the hug, lightly stroking Spike's scales. "I feel the same way, Spike. I know I probably don't always do the best job of showing it."

Spike just giggled. "Hey, nopony's perfect. Not even you."