A Secret Admirer 3: Spike's Sacrifice (AU)

by 1jckuhn

First published

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

A version of Spike's Sacrifice if the events of "A Secret Admirer" played out. If you haven't read the original yet, I highly recommend you do.

Rated T for moderate descriptions of injuries, blood, character death, sporadic mild language, and dark nightmares.

Other Characters include:

Princess Celestia and Luna
Starlight Glimmer
Thorax
Ember
Discord
Garble
Big Mac
Luster Dawn
Cobalt Blitz (OC)
Tyson and Kimba (OC Dragons)
Sunny Glare (OC)
Aris and Erin (OC)

Chapter 1: The Sacrifice

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“Enough!” yelled Queen Chrysalis. “Or the dragon’s wings get plucked!”

Before Spike could even react, he was violently lifted off the ground by his wings and placed on display for his friends to see, with Cozy Glow holding Grogar’s enchanted bell keeping Spike in place. Tirek and Chrysalis both smiled with callousness at one of their enemies in pain.

Anger was replaced with horror on Twilight’s face as she saw her drakefriend in excruciating pain.

“No! Don’t hurt him!” she practically begged. "Please, he's just a kid!"

Spike was in unimaginable pain as he felt his wings about to be dislocated from their sockets, but he put that aside. He knew that Equestria’s fate was worth far more than his wellbeing.

“Don’t worry about me! Just save Equestria! Just remember that I love all of - Argh!” The purple dragon was abruptly cut off by another jolt of pain.

Spike mustered up the energy to open one of his eyes just a little bit, only to find his six harem members standing down. He then felt himself being thrown toward his friends; the wind felt cool as he flew through the air. The feeling of falling was quickly replaced with a pair of hooves surrounding his small body as his friends all formed a protective huddle around Twilight.

“Turns out that the magic of Friendship proves to be your greatest weakness,” Tirek taunted. “A fitting end to your pathetic story.”

The villains grinned wickedly as they charged up their magic and prepared to finally rid themselves of their burdens once and for all. In that moment, Tirek’s final seven words hit home as the Mane 6 realized just how much trouble they were in. Spike suddenly felt all his pain vanish as he looked up and saw his marefriends’ horrified faces.

"I'm so sorry, girls. I'm so sorry, Spikey," Twilight whimpered. "I don't we'll be making it out of this one."

The adrenaline raced through Spike's body at lightning speeds and everything slowed down when he heard Twilight say that. He knew that his lovers needed to be saved and he was the only one to do it. Without another moment to spare, he broke free of Twilight’s grasp and flew as fast as he could towards the object that nearly cost him the use of his wings.

Twilight was shocked at what she saw, her friend turned lover was flying toward the monsters at breakneck speeds and had successfully nabbed the bell from their grasp.

The next few seconds were a blur to Spike. One second he was on the ground, the next he was in the air, nabbing the enchanted bell from the monsters’ grasp. His adrenaline levels were through the roof. Never in his life had he ever felt more determined on a mission to save his friends turned lovers. If he was in pain before, he sure didn’t show it now. His wings, however, weren’t as mobile as before, no doubt in Spike’s mind that they were likely broken due to the severe abuse they received no more than one minute ago. The villains were furious.

“Give that back, you repulsive, little brat!” Chrysalis spat as she prepared to zap Spike.

Out of pure instinct, Spike stuck Grogar’s bell out in front of him and the green jolt of magic hit it. Somehow, the bell absorbed the magic blast, which avoided further injury to Spike. Spike looked at the bell and noticed It was lined with cracks and faintly glowing a moderate shade of green. He had no doubt in his mind that Chrysalis’ magic had damaged it. He then quickly laid out a plan in his mind to defeat them. For this to work, he’d need to trick them into zapping the bell several times to overload it with magic and then fly it toward them at the last second before the enchanted object exploded. He already figured it would likely kill him too, but for Equestria it was worth it.

“You want this bell so bad?” Spike taunted from above. “Then come and get it.”

Cozy Glow growled. “Challenge accepted, lizard.”

The evil Pegasus turned Alicorn flew after the pre-teen dragon and fired another magic blast at him. Spike once again stuck the bell out and blocked it. It looked more cracked and was glowing a bit brighter.

“Spike! What are you doing?! You’re going to get hurt!” Rainbow Dash yelled.

“Don’t worry about my safety, Rainbow! Just get out of here. All of you!” Spike called back as the third blast of magic hit the bell and made it glow even brighter.

Spike’s adrenaline was starting to wear off and he began to feel the pain in his wings return as the fourth blast of magic hit the bell. It was now badly damaged with cracks much larger lining the surface of the enchanted object, it was now glowing a very vibrant shade of green, and it was giving off a low hum.

“One more blast should do it,” Spike said, his adrenaline and newfound strength gradually waning.

The little dragon flew toward the fiends with all the strength he had. This was it. This was the climax of the plan; destroy the bell and render Cozy Glow, Chrysalis, and Tirek useless. Everything seemed to slow down even further for Spike as his vision narrowed down to the three beings that he zeroed toward.

***

Less than 50 feet away, Twilight and her friends watched the scene with horror. They had easily put two and two together and knew Spike was trying to sacrifice himself to save them and Equestria. They immediately huddled together.

“We can’t leave him,” Applejack said. “He can’t lose his life because he’s trying to save us. He's got so much to look forward to his life with us.”

“Agreed,” said Rarity. “We can’t leave Spikey-Wikey to die at the hands of these monsters.”

"C'mon," Rainbow Dash said. "Let's get a plan together and save-"

Before Rainbow Dash could say anything more, her friends and she heard an ear-splitting explosion. They turned around only to find a huge, white beam of light shoot towards the sky. All six ponies felt their hearts sink and fresh tears welled up in their eyes as they knew full well that they were too late to save their lover. Their hearts simultaneously shattered inside them. The sound was almost audible to the outside world.

***

As Spike sped towards his targets, Cozy, Tirek, and Chrysalis powered up another blast of magic each. This time, instead of firing individually, they unleashed their blasts all at once. The three seperate blasts quickly connected with one another and it formed the biggest blast of magic that the three evil-doers had ever seen in their lives as it raced toward the pre-teen reptile. Right as the blasts connected, Spike stuck out Grogar’s bell once more, and the villains instantly realized that they had screwed up. The blast hit the bell, it detonated, and was blown to smithereens and enveloped all four of them in a huge surge of magic.

Spike felt all his strength and adrenaline finally fade away as the bell detonated, and it enveloped him in its overloaded magic surge. The bright, white light was too much for Spike's eyes to handle and he shut them tightly and gritted his teeth. Whatever pain he had felt before was nothing compared to what he felt now. Fragments of the bell lodged deep into the crevices that divided his Lavender scales. Other parts of his body had their scales ripped off like paper by much larger fragments, lining his under-scales with deep cuts. The surge of magic tore throughout his immune system and internal organs. The skin on his wings was charred and began to slowly flake away along with small shards of his slowly crumbling wing bones. He began to feel an extremely awful burning sensation all over the front of his small abdomen. The adolesent had lost the ability to smell and taste due to his sinuses being fried almost instantly and his ears rang loudly. He hit the ground on his back with a small thud. The second Spike did hit the ground, his already badly cracked wingbones finally shattered to pieces and it sent another enormous rush of pain through his destroyed nerves. However, every bit of pain he felt reminded him of his heroic deed.

“I did it,” Spike thought as the magic beam began to fade. “I saved my friends, lovers, and Equestria. I know I'm done for, but as long as they're all safe now. There's nothing more I want more in this world than that."

He looked at the now clear, blue sky and the afternoon sun.

"Such a beautiful sight," Spike thought as he closed his eyes and waited for death to fully grasp his small body.

***

Twilight and the girls could only show horror as the giant, white beam gradually faded away. All was eerily quiet afterward. With the bell destroyed, the villains had lost their powers and now lay unconscious on the ground. Cozy Glow had turned back into a Pegasus, Queen Chrysalis was stripped of her enchanted body armor and head crest and her teal mane was singed at the end, and Tirek’s rejuvenated state had vanished. He was now the old, frail Centaur that Twilight and her friends had run into in Tartarus. The ponies didn’t care about what the state their assailants were in, they wanted to find Spike and see, if by some miracle, if he was still alive. They soon found him lying on his back near where the center of the magic blast had erupted. The tears that had been welling up in their eyes now slowly oozed down their faces and it took all their strength not to throw up when they saw their terminally wounded drakefriend. The lavender dragon was impaled by several shards on the bell, with red blood already seeping out of the many cuts that lined his body, the entire front of his abdomen was dark grey and smoking, and he was barely breathing. Pieces of his outer scales, small bits of scorched, smoking tissue, and shriveled up, blackened flakes of skin which used to be on his wings that had been ripped off by the shards of the destroyed bell now lay scattered around him. Large pieces of bones that were once the structure of his new wings also joined the pile of debris that consisted of pieces of Spike's body and Grogar's Bell. The grass and dirt that lay beneath Spike was already saturated and tinted red from the increasing amount of blood that was slowly oozing out of him.

Spike felt a drop of water hit his forehead. He reopened his eyes just a crack and saw the girls he loved more than anything looking down at him, not a single eye was dry on the six ponies as they looked down on their sweetheart. It was nothing short of a miracle that he was still alive, but Spike knew it wouldn’t be that way for long.

“Girls,” Spike croaked before coughing up thick, dark, red blood.

Twilight and the others almost lost composure when she heard how terrible their other half looked and spoke. They all knelt down beside his body as Spike grew weaker.

“We're here, honey. You're going to be okay now,” Twilight managed to say between cries. "We all love you, Spike. Please, you're not in any more danger. Don't quit now."

Spike felt sorry listening to Twilight's optimism. He knew that no matter how much she hoped or tried, she couldn't make him better.

“If only that were the case. It looks like this is the end of the line for me,” Spike wheezed, sounding even worse than before. “I had a good run with you girls. Thanks for helping me experience love at such a young age.”

Twilight felt her whole world crumbling around her. Her best friend that had been with her since the beginning and who had managed to capture not just her heart, but the heart of eleven other girls, was on the ground, moribund and accepting his fate. Her friends, as much as they hated to do so, realized that this was the end of their Spike that had saved them all from certain death and Equestria from certain defeat. They all cried silently at the fact. Twilight, however, didn't seem to be on the same boat as they were.

“Spike, don't talk like that! You're going to be fine. Please just stay awake and hang on! Don’t go,” Twilight pleaded as she finally broke down in a fit of sobs. “I can’t lose you, please! You can't die! Not this young!"

The other five element bearers could only watch through their tears as Twilight repeatedly begged for Spike to stay awake, before she turned her attention towards the sky as if to beseech anyone up that was up there to keep Spike alive.

"Please, Celestia. Don't take him. He's just 13! I'm begging you! Please let him live through this!!” Twilight cried looking up at the sky with fresh tears still in her eyes.

Seeing Twilight, as well as her friends, like this made Spike feel worse than all his injuries combined. He knew he had one shot to hopefully provide them with some type of consolation to ease their grief about his passing.

“Twilight, there's nothing you can do. We both know I won't make it, but it's okay. I don't care about my safety,” Spike rasped as he coughed up more blood. “As long as I know that Equestria is safe, more importantly, as long I know that you’re all safe, there's nothing more I'd want to know in my last moments than that. Listen, please don't be angry at Discord for this. He never intended this to happen.”

Spike felt his vision start to go blurry. He knew he had a few seconds left to croak out one last thing to them all.

“Listen,” the dying dragon choked out. “Please, promise me one last thing before I go.”

“What is it?” Rarity asked through her tears.

Spike found it harder and harder to speak as the last few seconds of his short life passed. It was becoming more of a challenge to even breathe, he felt a numbing sensation starting to move up his body, and fatigue was starting to slowly overwhelm the tiny being.

" Please make sure Smolder...*gasp*...the Crusaders...*cough*...Starlight...*cough*...and Gabby...*gasp*...know that...*wheeze*...I love them,” Spike wheezed out, his message barely audible to the ponies around him. No sooner did he say his last word, then did the numbness finally spread all the way up his body. His eyes slowly fluttered shut as his last breath left his nose. He did it, he had saved Equestria and his lovers and friends were out of harm’s way. He was now at peace as the last of his senses faded away. According to Spike, he couldn’t have asked for it to turn out a better way. He was dissapointed that he could no longer have a future with his harem, but, at the same time, was happy that they were safe.

The Element Bearers, however, didn’t seem to share Spike optimism. They all began to bawl uncontrollably as their drakefriend finally passed on, even Applejack, who was always known for crying on the inside, was a sobbing wreck. Seconds felt like minutes and minutes felt like hours as they unleashed their sorrowful cries. They were soon surrounded by a clear, dome-shaped forcefield as their allies and the Princesses crested the top of the hill. With Grogar’s bell destroyed, the Princesses and Discord had now gotten their magic back. The heartbroken girls paid no attention to their allies’ arrival as they continued to greive for the loss of their lover.

Thorax and Ember were at the front of the pack. Behind them were Gabby, Smolder, the CMC, and Starlight. They saw the villains still unconscious and the ponies sitting and hunched over someone or something. They flew down and inform the rest of the group.

“Tirek, Chrysalis, and Cozy Glow are knocked out. They don’t seem to have their enchanted powers anymore either, and Twilight and the girls seem fine, but they’re hunched over someone or something,” Thorax relayed.

“Can we head down there to see what the fuss is about?” Ember asked.

Yes, we can go with you,” Princess Celestia said. “My Sister and I will have our guards subdue these creatures before they can do anymore harm.”

"We're coming too," Smolder announced. "The Crusaders, Starlight, Gabby, and I have been away from our Spike for far too long."

With the company of the Princesses, Ember and Thorax flew down to the Element Bearers. Smolder scooped up the Crusaders and Gabby scooped up Starlight and they made their way down to the other harem members. As they got closer, they heard what sounded like crying coming from the ponies.

“Thorax, it sounds like they’re crying,” Ember said.

“Yeah,” Thorax replied. “I wonder what’s got them so upset.”

"Ehh," Smolder shrugged. "They're probably crying out of happiness. Probably because Spike saves the day yet again."

Celestia and Luna broke off with their guards to restrain the villains, while Ember and Thorax landed behind the ponies, followed be Smolder and Gabby. The dragon and Griffon set down the three other fillies and Unicorn before they turned their attention toward the still sobbing Element Bearers. The ponies didn’t acknowledge the arrival of the Dragon Lord, Changeling King, and the other half of the harem. They just continued to sob hysterically. Confused by their conduct, they walked around the force field to get a better look at what got them in such a hysterical state. Once all eight creatures got to where they were facing the ponies, their eyes widened, and they all let out a horrified gasp, except Smolder who let out a loud scream. The ponies stopped crying and looked up at the new arrivals.

“N-No, i-it can’t be,” Thorax sputtered.

“I-Is he d-dead?” Ember asked, hesitant to say the last word of her question.

"Y-yes,” Rarity managed to choke out between sobs. “S-Spike’s d-dead!”

Ember and Thorax felt tears welling up in their eyes as they saw the dragon that had helped them get into the position they were in now.

“Celestia! Luna!” screamed Thorax, trying his best not to break down and start sobbing right then and there.

“What? What's wrong?” Luna asked as she and Celestia ran over to them.

“Spike’s gone! He’s dead!” Thorax cried as he finally broke down.

Celestia and Luna ran over to where the sobbing Element Bearers were, saw Spike’s limp body, and quickly flew up to the hill crest where all of Equestria was waiting.

“Deactivate the forcefield, now,” Celestia ordered, starting to feel nausoeous from the grusome sight of Spike's corpse.

“What’s the matter, Princesses?” Chancellor Neighsay asked.

“Spike is dead, we need to get a better look at the damage to him,” Luna said trying her best not cry.

Without another word every Unicorn’s horn stopped glowing. The forcefield vanished instantly. The second it did, Ember, Thorax, and the other half of Spike's harem bolted to the huddle of ponies and joined them. Once they got a good look at their fallen friend and lover, they almost passed out. They immediately noticed how Spike's little torso, arms, and legs were impaled by so many shards of Groger’s bell, how his body was drenched in about 70 percent of his blood volume from all his deep cuts and scratches, how his abdomen was burnt almost to a crisp, the only thing on his wings that remained were two bloody, fleshy, stumps on his back, how there were burned pieces and bone fragments of him that peppered the grassy field under and around him, and how the ground beneath him was soaked in red from the the other 30 percent of his lost blood. His eyes were peacefully closed. If it weren't for all his horrible injuries, they would've thought he was sleeping.

“Spike, no,” Ember choked out as she felt tears starting to ooze down her cheeks. "P-Please, no."

She put a finger on Spike left wrist, which was surprisingly undamaged, to somehow hold out hope that he was still alive. She didn’t feel a pulse. It was at this moment that Ember and Thorax knew that Spike, the dragon that had helped clear Thorax’s name for him to be accepted into Pony kind, the dragon who had melted Ember’s walls and had helped her reach the Bloodstone Sceptor in order to become the new Dragon Lord, and the dragon who had captured the hearts of a dozen girls, was no more.

The Princesses, after what seemed like forever, flew down to join the other 14 lamenting creatures. Garble also followed them down there. He knew that his sister needed him more than ever to get through this event. All 17 creatures were all overcome with grief looking down at Spike's destroyed body. The villains were defeated and Equestria was safe from the Legion of Doom, but at what cost? Spike, a kid, had given up his life for his friends, his marefriends, his family, and his home.

“Twilight,” whispered Celestia, her eyes starting to fill with fresh tears. “What happened?”

After hearing this, Twilight stopped crying and got the composure to speak. Celestia felt heartbroken staring down at her pupil’s sad, red-rimmed, puffy eyes.

The lavender Alicorn tearfully explained how Spike had grabbed the bell, had taunted the Legion of Doom into chasing him, and how he tricked them into destroying the object that was reponsible for all their powers. She found it harder to speak as she went into detail about finding him in the rubble, how he had already accepted his fate, and in his final words to them saying that as long as his friends and Equestria were safe, that was all that mattered. She then told the other half of Spike's harem about how he told Element Bearers to let them know that he loved them.

The thought of reciting the awful scene to the Princesses, Ember, Thorax, and the other six harem members made the Twilight and her friends cry even harder. Thorax, Starlight, the Princesses all silently cried. Smolder, Gabby, and the Crusaders began to bawl hysterically. Ember, however, was a different story.

“No! No! No! This isn’t fair! THIS ISN'T FAIR!!!” Ember screamed as she fell to her knees, repeatedly punched the ground, and finally began crying hysterically looking at the destroyed body that was once her best friend. “Spike didn’t deserve this!”

From the hillcrest above, Dragons, Ponies, Changelings, Griffons, Hippogriffs, Yaks, Buffalos, and Kirins all began to cry silently. No creature had peeled their eyes away from where the Princesses, Element Bearers, Dragon Lord, and Changeling King were all huddled around their fallen comrade.

Equestria hadn't lost an ordinary hero that day, it had lost its savior that day.

There was one creature, however, that felt the saddest and guiltiest out of them all. Discord.

“Oh, Spike,” he whispered to no one in particular, tears stinging his eyes. “I did this. I’m so sorry.”

Chapter 2: The Aftermath

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Not a single harem member ceased crying as they were transported back to the Castle of Friendship. When they walked into their home, they all silently and slowly headed for Twilight's room, crowded onto her bed, and embraced each other as tight as they could. Within a half hour, they had fallen asleep, due to sheer exhaustion from crying so much. The princesses were relieved to see the Element Bearers finally asleep and away from any depression. They looked peaceful as they softly snored the remainder of the day away.

Thorax and Ember were too emotionally shattered to fly back home. They were given a guest room that was one floor above Twilight's room. Unlike the ponies, however, Thorax and Ember spent the remainder of the day, and half the night, embracing each other tightly and crying their eyes out into each other's shoulders. Anyone who passed by their room knew it was best to just leave them be.

THE NEXT MORNING

Twilight let out a groan as she woke up, her eyes were sore and her whole body ached. She felt like she had just flew and run a marathon at the same time. She looked around at where she was. She realized that she was in her bedroom with her best friends, Smolder, The Cutie Mark Crusaders, Gabby, and Starlight. They were lying on her bed still asleep. From the looks of it, they had all fallen asleep in a tight hug. There were tear streaks on the pillows and sheets.

"Ugh," Twilight groaned. "What did we do last night?"

Then she noticed something. In the middle of the cuddle puddle was a small hole that would've fit a small, purple Dragon. Twilight didn't know why Spike wasn't with them. Twilight suddenly felt sick to her stomach thinking about him, but she didn't know why. She couldn't recall a single thing from yeterday, but she felt this was serious, very serious.

She bolted out the door and to Spike's bedroom. She peeked inside, expecting him to be asleep in bed. He wasn't there. She looked in every room in the castle, but couldn't find Spike anywhere. Twilight felt even more sick to her stomach and she felt a bit sad too. Why was she feeling like this? She ran back to her bedroom and woke up the the other 11 girls up.

"Girls," Twilght said. "Girls, wake up."

One by one, the others slowy began to stir, and they were not happy about it.

"Ah, what the hell, Twi?" Rainbow Dash groaned. "Why are you waking us up?"

"Yeah, come on," grumbled Smolder. "You're gonna wake up Spike."

The orange Dragon looked around the bed only to find Spike wasn't there.

"What the...?" she asked. "Where'd he go?"

"Smolder, girls, Spike's missing," Twilight said. "I've checked everywhere and I can't find him."

Everyone's fatigue vanished and they jumped up out of bed. They rushed out of the room to start a search party when they were greeted by Princess Celestia and Luna near the staircase. Twilight, as well as her friends, were confused. Since when did the Princesses drop by for a visit?

"Celestia? Luna? What are you doing here?" Twilight asked.

"We're here to provide comfort for you, Twilight," Celestia responded. "Do you not remember what happened yesterday?"

Both sisters felt their guts drop when Twilight shook her head, "no". It was clear to them that they had no choice but to recap the results of the battle that happened no more than 17 hours ago. Without another word, the royal sisters uttered a spell and a screen appeared before the six Element Bearers, Pink Unicorn, three fillies, Griffon, Dragon. The second they saw what was on it, they all became horrified and Rarity almost threw up. On the screen was Twilight, along with the other Elements, huddled around a mortally wounded Spike, who was croaking out his sixth-to-last to third-to-last sentences to all of them.

“Twilight, there's nothing you can do. We both know I won't make it, but it's okay. I don't care about my safety. *cough* As long as I know that Equestria is safe, more importantly, as long I know that you’re all safe, there's nothing more I'd want to know in my last moments than that."

At that moment, all the memories from yesterday hit Twilight and the other harem members like a wrecking ball. They began to cry silently. Smolder, however, immediatly collapsed and just sobbed as hard as she could.

"A funeral is to be held in Canterlot in three days time at 12:45 P.M.," Luna stated.

"O-Okay," Rainbow Dash sniffed.

Celestia sighed before continuing, "Ember and Thorax are also here. They're too emotionally hurt to fly back home, so they'll be here until the day of the funeral. Garble's here in the dining room having some breakfast. More than likely, he'll be looking for you, Smolder. We must be off now. The funeral preparations are to start in an hour and a half."

"Oh, uh, thanks," Rainbow Dash replied, her tone sounding meeker than Fluttershy's.

With that, the Princesses flew out the door and to the Canterlot Cemetary, leaving all 12 heartbroken girls alone to remember the horrors of yesterday. They all agreed to go to their separate bedrooms to be alone with their thoughts. Rartiy, Applejack, and Rainbow Dash all decided to cuddle their little sisters in bed, because they knew they were just as tramatized and heart broken as they were. Smolder, however, walked to the dining room to be with her brother, she never stopped sobbing and walked slow and sluggish. As the other 11 girls walked back to their bedrooms, Twilight kept uttering the same thing to herself over and over again.

"Why," whimpered Twilight. "Why couldn't I have done something? I could've saved him."

Left with nothing better to do, everyone crawled into bed and cried themselves to sleep. It was going to be a long three days.

Chapter 3: The Funeral

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THREE DAYS LATER

This was the day that everycreature in Equestria dreaded, Spike's Funeral. Everyone had the day off so they could come to the terrible event. The day was hard for everyone who knew and loved Spike. For Spike's harem, Ember, Garble, and Thorax, however, they felt like they were going through pure hell. Everything felt so slow from the moment they had woken up and realized what day it was. The train ride from Ponyville to Canterlot would've been fun for them if they weren't surrounded by mourners and ponies from the Crystal Empire. After what seemed like forever, the 15 devastated creatures finally came to a large gate with a sign that read "Canterlot Cemetary". They felt tears welling up as the gate opened up and they walked inside.

The Pegusai had rejected to do their duties for the day, leaving a cloudy, grey sky up above. The gloomy weather seemed to fit the atmosphere very well. There was a giant crowd of Ponies, Dragons, Yaks, Griffons, Hippogriffs, Buffalo, Changelings, and Kirins that all stared at a small hole in the ground in the shape of a perfect 10x8 rectangle.

The despondent girls, Thorax, and Garble walked to the front of the pack without saying a word and sat down. Accompanying them at the front were the Young 6, Twilight Velvet, Night Light, Shining Armor, Queen Novo, Princess Skystar, Tempest Shadow, Garble's posse, Pharynx, and Big Macintosh, who was doing everything he could think of to help to console a grief-stricken Discord, who was also crying uncontrollably.

The second they saw their leader, Billy, Clump, and Spear flocked to Garble and Smolder. Garble did look distraught, but he ordered them to look after Smolder. The Orange, teen dragon looked the most emotionally destroyed out of the whole harem. Her icy blue eyes reflected unbearable amounts of pain and the other teenagers couldn't help but feel really sorry for her. They didn't really like Spike, but they did harbor some respect for him. Poor Smolder had been crying non-stop since last night and didn't catch a wink of sleep that night, but there were no signs of fatigue on her anywhere. She was sobbing just as hard, if not harder, than last night. Garble felt absoulutely awful seeing his sister like this and all the things that would usually comfort her had no effect. In fact, it seemed to only make her feel worse. Smolder's best friends also changed seats to be with her. They had never seen her like this before and they didn't know how to console her. Gallus put the most effort into it by rubbing Smolder's back tenderly. It didn't help that they had their own grief to deal with.

Pharynx saw his brother and immediatly changed seats to be with him. Like Smolder, Thorax's eyes also reflected unimaginable amounts of pain and depression. Pharynx didn't know what to do. He had been there for Thorax when he was bullied, but neither Thorax nor he had never dealt with anything like this. Ever.

Just as they settled down, Princess Celestia, Luna, and Cadence came from the left in a slow, steady trot. Behind them was a gold-plated coffin bathed in Celestia's yellow aura. Everyone felt sick seeing it knowing full well who was inside. The crestfallen Princesses all walked to the center of the front of the crowd and set the casket on a stand for everyone to see. Behind the coffin and Princesses was a giant object that was covered by a large, white sheet.

"Good afternoon, Mares, Gentlecolts, Fillies, Colts, Dragons, Griffons, Hippogriffs, Changelings, Yaks, Buffalo, and Kirins," Celestia started before wiping away a tear. "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."

Everyone in the front row immediatly broke down upon hearing the extent of Spike terminal injuries. Garble and his buddies tried their hardest not to cry as they had to stay strong to provide comfort for Smolder, who was crying harder after listening to just how badly her deceased lover had been hurt for the last few moments in his life. Pharynx teared up, but managed to keep it together to try and console a now sobbing Thorax. It was just another sickening reminder for not just Thorax, but Ember and the harem as well, of why they were there.

"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," Celestia paused again and wiped away another tear. "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."

Everyone, despite their sorrow, found a sliver of comfort from Celestia's speech. Spike's harem, Ember, Thorax felt the most touched out of them all. Smolder pulled her head out of Garble's tear-soaked chest and it looked like, for the first time in almost 16 hours, she had stopped crying. She looked back at the Princesses with a small, sad smile. It was the most beautiful thing she, as well as the rest of the crowd, had ever heard. Celestia cleared her throat and everyone fell silent once more.

"Anyone who wishes to say their final goodbyes, may do so now," the Sun Princess said and 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 as it slowly opened it to reveal its contents.

Everyone's sliver of comfort from Celestia's speech vanished and over half the crowd lost contol of their emotions at the awful sight in front of them. Smolder began to cry again and she reburied her face into Garble's chest.

Spike 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.

Rainbow volunteered to go first, she sighed heavily before speaking.

"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 deceased dragon's face. She leaned in and kissed Spike right between his eyebrows. "Thank you, Spike, for everything. I love you so much."

Rainbow Dash found it harder to walk as she made her way back to her friends. Applejack and Fluttershy noticed this, met Rainbow halfway across the floor, and assisted her back to her seat.

Pinkie was up next. She slowly made her way to the coffin that served as her friend's final resting bed. Her mane was deflated and her fur seemed a darker, more dreary shade of pink. She felt tears welling up in her sky blue eyes as she looked at her deceased lover.

"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 his right cheek before walking back towards her friends, still wearing that sad smile.

Fluttershy got up next. She swallowed hard and wiped away her tears.

"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 fallen dragon right on his nose. She made her way back to her shocked friends, even though it felt good pouring her heart out in that speech, she still felt weary of the catastrophic results that unfolded after that horrendous battle four days earlier.

Applejack took the next shot.

"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 Spike'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. The two Pegasi sat between their woebegone teammate when they did reach her seat, embraced her with both their legs and wings, and refused to loosen their grip.

Next up, were the Cutie Mark Crusaders followed by Applejack's older brother, Big Macintosh. Apple Bloom was riding on her brother and was sobbing heavily into the back of the stallion's crimson neck. In fact, Apple Bloom hadn't stopped crying once since last night. It was physically exhausting for the young filly to the point where she couldn't even walk.

Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle jumped up on Big Mac's back. Once she saw her friends with her, Apple Bloom felt a bit of comfort knowing that she now had company who could help her composture rather than doing it alone.

"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."

Sweetie teared up as she remembered a time when her friends and she accompanied Spike and Rarity on a gem hunting trip hoping to earn their cutie marks in mining. Unfortunately, they didn't do well. Spike, however, didn't like seeing Sweetie and her friends so downtrodden after what happened. He lifted their spirits when he told them that there was a whole, wide world full of talents out there. They just needed help finding thiers and the purple dragon was more than happy to pitch in to help them out. True to his word, he had helped the trio of fillies out with trying over three dozen talents, but still no luck. Despite this, Spike's optimism never faultered.

"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."

The orange Pegasus recalled a short time ago when a colt was chewing them out for something relatively minor. Spike saw what happened and confronted him about it. After a brief argument, they both got really angry and likely would've fought each other that day had Ms. Cheerilee not intervened. After Ms. Cheerilee sent the colt away, Spike had calmed down and asked if any of the three fillies were hurt. Much to Spike's relief they weren't.

Apple Bloom had gotten herself together and managed to look at her slain drakefriend.

"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.

The trio of filies leaned into the casket and simultaneously kissed Spike's still cheek. The heartbroken trio then hopped off Big Mac's back and ran back to their seats without another word, crying silently.

Once the filles were back to their seats, Big Mac turned around and faced Spike. The usually stoic stallion had felt sad when he thought Sugar Belle had dumped him, but it was nothing compared to what he felt now.

"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." The crimson stallion sighed heavily. 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. 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.

Even though he may have not been Spike's biggest fan, Garble felt like he owed Spike this one. He was a little reluctant to leave his Smolder's side as she had never ceased sobbing when they had first gotten to the funeral, but his buddies took his place comforting her. He took a deep breath and rubbed the back of his neck.

"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 his former rival. "Rest easy, warrior. You've fought well."

After some coaxing from Garble, Smolder had managed to get her emotions together and slowly stood up. The usually tomboyish dragon felt numb to the bone.

The orange dragon turned to her older brother. "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. She slipped the rose inbetween the fingers on his 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. Garble immediately sprang from his seat, scooped her up, carried her back to where his buddies and he were, and held her tightly against his chest for the rest of the time.

Gabby sniffed as she got up to share her speech. The usually happy, go-lucky Griffon felt like going to sleep and never wanting to wake up. She had felt awful when she thought Spike didn't want to hang out with her, but that was nothing compared to what she felt now. She wanted to throw up looking at the body in the casket that once was her lover, her other half, her Spikey.

"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. The poor, grey griffon tried to stand up, but her legs buckled and she fell back down again, still crying.

"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?"

Sensing that Gabby couldn't continue on without going into a full mental breakdown, Starlight got up and helped the still bawling Griffon back to her seat. Seeing her like this made the other members of Spike's harem feel even worse. They didn't know how to provide her, or each other and themselves for that matter, with some kind of comfort. They wanted to promise each other that everything would be okay. Sadly, they felt like no matter how many times they'd say it, it'd never be true. Even Fluttershy began to question the things she had said during her speech.

Once Gabby and Starlight were seated Thorax decided to go next. Like Gabby, the shaken King felt like throwing up looking at Spike in his final resting place. After 15 seconds of pure, dead silence, Thorax broke the ice and began to slowly but surely got out his words.

"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.

After Thorax sat back down, Ember made her way next to the deceased Spike.

"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."

Fluttershy quickly ran over to the sobbing Dragon Lord and wrapped her wings and hooves around her in a comforting hug. "Shh, there there. It's okay," she whispered soothingly before slowly helping Ember back to her seat.

After Ember was Starlight. She was in such shock since Spike's death and her mind felt so empty, like a big, white, unpainted canvas. For those four days, the reality of the results of that grueling battle were slowly setting into her mind. By the time she had woken up today and realized with the others that today was the day that they had to come say a final goodbye to their dearest friend turned lover, everything had been fully digested. Now, she was up and it only added to how real the situation was. She looked down at him and began speaking without even realizing it.

"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 below his ear fin before whispering her final sentence, "I love you, Spike. Thanks for sticking by me for so long."

Once Starlight was seated, Rarity had been scheduled to go next. This was the moment that the fashionista looked forward to and dreaded at the same time. The last moments in Spike's life still played over and over in her mind. His raspy voice, his vibrant, Emerald eyes slowly losing their light as he croaked out his final words to her friends and her, pleading with them to forgive Discord and how he asked for them to tell Smolder, the Crusaders, Starlight, and Gabby that he loved them. Then there was the guilt that stayed with her when she realized that she had completely ignored that he had a crush on her for so long. She had brushed off the way he had always carried her baggage for her, how he'd volunteer to be her pincushion, and how he looked at her so lovingly. The snow white Unicorn just assumed that he'd get over it sooner or later, but he never did. She had a small saddlebag in her which had surprisingly gone unnoticed by everyone there. Her mascara was running down her cheeks and staining her perfect, white fur. How she looked, however, was the last thing on her mind.

"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."

She reached into her saddlebag and pulled out the only thing inside, Spike's fire ruby except that it didn't have it's golden necklace. It still looked as flawless and shiny as it did when it was given to the fashionista all those years ago. Spike's still hands were suddenly enveloped in Rarity's light blue aura and lifted up off his chest. Rarity was careful not to disturb Smolder's rose as she levatated the fire ruby into the coffin and gently wedged it inbetween the little dragon's hands and chest. She smiled down at the finished product, before leaning into the coffin and kissed Spike for a solid two seconds on his lips. She broke away and looked sadly at him.

"You've given me your heart so many times, Spike. I regret that I have just this time to give you mine once last, heartbreaking time," Rarity said. She walked away after casting one last look at her knight in shining scales and whispering a final, "I'm sorry, Spike."

Now, it was Twilight's turn. She felt the most crushed out of everyone there. She had hatched Spike and had spent every day of his short life with him. He was always considered to be her "Number One Assistant". Overtime, however, the two grew closer and the lavendar Alicorn soon found Spike had harbored feeings for her and she soon found herself harboring the same feelings for him long before his speech about how and why he loved her.

"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.

Upon hearing this, Twilight Velvet, Night Light, Shining Armor, and the harem, excluding Smolder because she was still sobbing hysterically immediately got up, walked over to Twilight, and embraced her as tight as they could in another comforting hug.

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

The 13 ponies and one Griffon slowly carried the sobbing Princess back to her seat and reembraced her for the rest of the time.

Once Twilight was carried back, Celestia, Luna, and Cadence were about to close the coffin when 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. It didn't take a genius 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. Most of the dragons were successful in holding back their tears. Smolder and Ember, however, didn't even bother trying.

As the Pewee and his flock dissapeared over the horizon, the rectangular hole was slowly refilled with the dirt that had been dug up earlier. It felt painfully slow for The harem, Ember, and Thorax to watch Equestria's rulers bury their life-long friend and lover.

After what seemed like forever, the hole was refilled and the tragic event was almost over. The princesses went over to the object that was obscured by the white sheet and they slowly pulled the white sheet away. Once it was off the object was revealed to be 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."

The statue looked beautiful and well detailed. Unfortunately for Twilight, it only seemed to taunt her by making her realize just how real this was. Spike, the one she loved, was dead and wasn't coming back. She was literally living a nightmare. The lavendar Alicorn began to feel even worse and her friends as well as the other Princesses took notice.

One by one, Ponies, Dragons, Griffons, Changelings, Yaks, Buffalo, Kirins, and Hippogriffs slowly began trickling out of the cemetary. Spike's harem, Twilight's parents, Shining Armor, Ember, Garble and his pack of friends, Pharynx, and Thorax all stayed behind to gaze at the statue and be reminded of Spike.

Celestia walked over to the still sobbing Twilight.

"Twilight," she whispered in a tone that was even softer the Fluttershy's.

Twlight sniffed and looked up her mentor. Her purple eyes reflected unimaginable amounts of pain and sorrow.

"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," Celestia said. "Spike would've wanted it that way."

Twilight broke down again. She eventually got her composture together and gave Celestia the scariest glare ever. Celestia gulped and felt chills run down her spine. She knew she had said that wrong. Now, she could only prepare for the toungue lashing that her former student was about to give her.

"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."

Fluttershy immediately spun Twilight around so that she was facing the cream colored Pegasus. Fluttershy pressed her nose to Twilight's and gave her a very stern glare. Her questioning of her own speech vanished and she now fully stood by her statements once again. Hope radiated off her eyes for the second time today.

"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, who hadn't said a word since she had broken down near Spike's casket, 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," the grey Griffon said. Her usual perky, happy demeanor was gone, but in its place stood a Gabby that was there for someone in need of a shoulder to cry on.

Twilight teared up again. Except this time, it was 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.

"Hey, Twilight, Celestia," Garble asked. "If it isn't too much to ask, can my buddies and I stay with Smolder in her dorm room? I want to be there for her to help guide her through this."

"I don't see why not," Twilight smiled at Garble.

"Thanks" Garble smiled back.

"Night Light and I would also like to stay in the castle," Twilight Velvet said. "We need to also be there to help Twilight in case she needs it."

Princess Celestia beamed warmly, "Certainly, you two."

"Well, we got to head back, but Thorax and I will make sure to visit you all at least once a week," Ember said.

"Take care, everyone," Rarity said.

"Thanks, Rarity. You too," Gabby responded with a little bit of her perky attitude returning to her voice.

Everyone bid each other farewell before heading back to their respective homes.

As everyone headed back home, they were all filled with new hope. Spike's death was a true tragedy, but in that tragedy, lessons were learned and in a way, they had all come out stronger because of it.

Chapter 4: Garble's Revelation

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THE NEXT MORNING

Smolder sniffed as she looked out the window of her dorm room. It was the fifth day without her better half. Her Spike. Her one true love. To her, however, it felt like it was five weeks, five months, five years, five centuries. She hated every second of every day that Spike wasn't with her. Even though she had listened to Fluttershy's speech intently, she found herself unable to move on no matter how hard she tried.

Smolder's friends didn't know what to do. Although they missed Spike as well, they had taken the advice of Fluttershy's speech and were trying to move on. They had tried to reach out to her to provide her with some type of comfort in those three days between when Spike died to his funeral, but she just distanced herself from everyone and when one of them did run into her, she usually looked like she was about to cry and usually did when they assured her it would be "okay". When they were at the funeral, Smolder's breakdown after her funeral speech was probably the worst mental episode that Smolder's friends had seen from her. They knew Smolder was grieving and she needed time to cope, but they had never seen her this emotionally shattered before.

"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.

Silverstream couldn't help but blush slightly as Gallus' nickname for her. For the past four months, the Hippogriff and Griffon had found themselves falling for each other. Three weeks ago, they had finally decided to act on their feelings for each other and go on a date. They had enjoyed it and since then, the two had become a couple. They couldn't be happier together. Silverstream had even moved her stuff into his dorm room so they could spend night after night snuggling in bed with each other. Lucky for her, Gallus had mistakenly been placed in a dorm room that was meant for two people rather than one. He was going to move out, but changed his mind once Silverstream and he got together.

"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.

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.

"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. 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.

Chapter 5: Comforting Smolder

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MEANWHILE

Smolder was curled up on her bed, buried under a mountain of covers and depression. The destroyed teen felt like throwing up after another three hours of non-stop crying. Sobbing over Spike really made her weak-kneed and she couldn't get the nauseating scene of seeing her boyfriend's destroyed body out of her head. On nights she did manage to cry herself to sleep, she'd usually wake up less than three hours later hearing Spike screaming for her to save him, only to realize, night after night, that the Dragon she, as well as 11 other girls, loved more than anything, was dead. Unfairly taken. Gone forever. All for what? Because help, including her, was just a little too slow to show up and rescue him. Even if Smolder couldn't have saved him, she could've at least seen him one last time to say goodbye to him as well on that fateful day. She did get a tiny bit of closure giving her speech at his funeral, but it seemed like any amount of pain she felt far outweighed any comfort. She knew the others were probably just as emotionally crushed as she was. That made her sadness and pain increase ten-fold because she could do nothing to comfort them, or herself for that matter, and try to move on with this horiffic tragedy.

"Why? Why Spike?" she whispered through teary eyes and a hoarse voice. "He didn't deserve this. He was the best soul in this whole world and fate repays him like this."

She heard a knock at the front door.

"Who is it?" she asked with a big sniffle.

"Smolder," called a voice whom Smolder immediatly recognised as Garble. "Open up. We need to talk."

Smolder blew her nose and wiped her eyes before slowly, but surely, made it to the front door and opened it.

***

Garble didn't know why his sister wasn't answering. He was about to open his mouth again to speak when 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.

"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.

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 becomong more of a challenge to keep her composture.

"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.

"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 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.

"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. Although he was glad to see his sister away from any pain, Garble was both scared and frustrated because the hadn't gotten anywhere with helping Smolder out of her slump. He knew he had to take more drastic measures, because Smolder's life may have depended on it. He teared up remembering a time two years ago when he had heard about a dragon that had suffered from depression just like Smolder and eventually it had become to much for him to handle. He was pulled away from his thoughts when a soft hoof was placed on her shoulder. He looked to see who it was and found out it was none other than Fluttershy.

"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.

"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 sentence replayed in Fluttershy's mind over and over again. As it did so, FLutterhy's mouth slowly began to turn into a smile. She now knew exactly what to say to Smolder. Now, however, was not the time to tell her. It was clear she needed rest, but before she left Garble and Smolder behind, Fluttershy wanted to say one last thing.

"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.

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 ours 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.

"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. They 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.

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.

"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. 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.

"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. For a solid three minutes, the two Dragons and Pegasus 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."

With that said, the three creatures 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.

Chapter 6: Forgiving Discord

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TWO DAYS EARLIER, TWO HOURS AFTER THE FUNERAL

Discord sighed and wiped away a tear as he stepped into Celestia and Luna's castle. The guilt he felt was unimaginable. He had tried to boost Twilight's confidence by banding the Cozy Glow, Chrysalis, and Tirek together under the guise of an ancient, Cornflower blue Ram named Grogar so the lavender Alicorn and her friends could get a confidence boost. Unfortunately, his plan went off the rails when the vicious trio found him out and stripped him of his chaos powers and the Princesses of their magic. Lucky for Discord, however, the Legion of Doom didn't get to overthrow all of Equestria, but that was because one of his closest friends had lost his life saving all of them.

Celestia and Luna were sitting on their thrones. They had just settled down after coming back from the funeral of the person who Celestia considered her son when the downtrodden Draconequus walked in the door.

Discord," Celestia said, surprised to see him. "What are you doing here?"

"Is there an available guest room in here?" Discord asked somberly.

"Yes, there is," Luna answered. "Why do you want to know?"

"I'd like to have it please," Discord said. "I need some time alone to cope with..."

Discord couldn't bring himself to say the last two words, Spike's death. Celestia and Luna immediatly understood Discord's situation. They lead him to the guest bedroom and left him alone to settle down.

PRESENT DAY

It had been two days Since the funeral and six days since Equestria had lost Spike. Everyone was still sad, but they were trying their best to move on with what happened, just like Spike would've wanted them to do.

Unfortunately, Discord had found himself still unable to move on with Spike's death. His sadness was just as bad, if not worse, than it was two days earlier. The Draconequus had no doubt in his mind that Twilight and her friends hated him unconditionally. Discord believed he was fully responsible for what happened and knew it was best not to make any contact with them again.

THREE DAYS LATER

True to his promise to himself, Discord stayed as far away as he could from Twilight and her friends as well as the other Princesses. He had never felt so alone.

Celestia and Luna thought the ancient Draconequus would eventually snap out of it, but as time went on, the two Princesses noticed Discord seemed even more downtrodden with each day that passed. Finally on the third day, the royal sisters decided they had enough of seeing Discord moping around and blaming himself for something he couldn't have prevented. They decided that tommorrow, they'd pay a visit to The Friendship Castle.

THE NEXT DAY

The second Celestia woke up that morning and Luna was off duty for being Equestia's dreamkeeper, the two quickly freshened up, had a quick breakfast, headed outside, and got in the enchanted chariot that was waiting to take the royal sisters to the Friendship Castle. They landed in front of the large building where Twilight and her friends resided. After ordering the Pegasai who pulled the cart to wait for them, they both slowly walked to the entrance of the Friendship Castle, looked at each other, took a deep breath, and knocked on the door.

Twilight was walking down the hall when she heard a knocking on the front door.

"I'm coming," she called as she rushed to the door.

She opened the door and saw the two royal sisters standing before her.

Hey, Celestia and Luna. What can I do for you?" Twilight asked. She did still seem a little sad.

"Hello, Twilight. May we come inside, please? We need to talk with you and your friends," Luna responded calmly.

"Certainly," Twilight smiled. "Can we discuss it in the map room?"

"Of course," Celestia replied.

With that said, Twilight rushed off to gather her friends and the Princesses headed to the map room and patiently waited inside. It didn't take them long to notice a stone chair smaller than the other six. On head rest was a picture of Spike, he was looking at the camera with a big smile. On the seat of the chair were several bouquets of flowers with a golden medal on the top, it was the Royal Advisor medal Twilight had given Spike no more than ten days ago. On the armrests sat two lit candles, one purple and one green, for each side. Below the picture sat a shiny golden plaque which was reflecting some of the yellow glow of the small candle flames. There were cursive letters carved into the plaque, they were easy to read with the help of the light of the candle flames.

Spike The Dragon
Beloved Boyfriend, Friend, Brother, Son, and Hero

The Princesses teared up a bit at the bittersweet sight of all the things that decorated Spike's chair. They heard a door opening as Twilight walked into the room accompanied by the other members of Spike's harem and Garble. They took notice of the Princesses staring at the Spike's adorned map room chair and they all began looking longingly at it, feeling all the good memories of their fallen friend come rushing back and hitting them right in their emotions. Not a word was said as the 12 ponies, two Dragons, and one Griffon all continued to stare at the perminantly vacant stone chair. If a pin was dropped, everyone would've heard it. After 45 seconds of pure, dead silence, Princess Celestia finally cleared her throat and got the other eight Ponies' attention.

"Ahem, now that we got that out of the way, there's something that I need to talk to you all about," Celestia spoke up.

"Sure thing, Celestia. What's up?" came the heavy southern accent of Applejack.

"It's about Discord," Luna started.

All the girls, excluding Fluttershy, and Garble winced slightly as they heard Discord's name. If the truth be told, they all did harbor some anger toward Discord as they held him partially responsible for what had happened.

"What about him?" Rainbow Dash asked with a hint of bitterness in her tone.

"Well, you see, he's taken Spike's death just as hard as you girls," Celestia said.

"Hmph, I should hope so," Rarity huffed. "He's the reason why our Spikey-Wikey is gone in the first place."

"Not to mention my sister has to go back on her anti-depressants because of him," Garble added with a growl.

"I don't even know why were even bringing him up in the first place," Applejack added.

"Because he was trying to help you. We miss Spike just as much as you all do, but clinging to the past won't do any of us any good," Celestia said curtly.

"Oh, and how did he "help" us as you put it?" Rainbow Dash asked, the bitterness in her tone becoming a bit more evident.

"Remember how he realized his mistakes and how he promised to make it up to everyone?" Luna asked.

Rainbow fell silent, she remembered how Discord swore to them that he'd make it up to them, how the cyan Pegasus herself told him that, "it would have to be a pretty epic make-up". The ancient creature, however, was true to his word. He grabbed a crystal rock while trying to work out a bargain with the three fiends, eventually getting into a verbal fight with, and eventually angering Tirek to the point where the rejuvinated Cenataur tried to blast Discord. At the last second, Discord stuck out the crystal rock, Tirek's blast hit the rock, it ricocheted off of the object's reflective surface, and it ultimately obliterated the shard of Chrysalis' old throne that was subdueing Starlight in her cage, causing her to break free and the pink unicorn was able to break out every other creature. When Rainbow Dash, as well as her friends, thought about that way, they realized that while Discord may have gotten them into his mess, he managed to get them all out of it.

"Do you also remember what Spike said in his final moments about you all being hard on Discord?" Celestia added.

The other Element Bearers joined Rainbow deep in their thoughts.

"Listen, please don't be angry at Discord for this. He never intended this to happen.”

It was painful to remember his voice and seeing him dying on the ground right in front of them, but at the same time they realized that unlike them, Spike held no ill will toward Discord and knew that the ancient creature had good intentions. He had used one of his last breaths to beg them to drop any feelings of hate or anger harbored toward the Draconequus.

While the Element Bearers were deep in thought, Gabby spoke up. Because she wasn't there, the Grey Griffon, as well as the other members of Spike's harem and Garble, were very confused.

"What are you talking about?" she asked.

"In his last moments of life, Spike pled with the Element Bearers to forgive Discord rather than be angry with him," Luna explained.

"Huh," Said Applejack. "When you put it like that, I guess he did really try to help us, he just didn't plan for the villians to betray him so suddenly."

"Precisely," Celestia said. "Discord wasn't trying to bring you down. He just didn't think it through."

"He's in our castle right now in a guest bedroom. Celestia overheard him one time saying to himself that it was best if he never talked to any of you again," Luna added.

"If the truth be told, I've already forgiven him for what he's done," Smolder said.

Garble was completely shocked.

"What? Why?" he asked.

"Because, Gar-Gar," Smolder explained. "I need to move on from this event just as much as everyone else. If I am unable to forgive Discord, I feel like I cannot move on. No matter how much I hope or try, I know nothing can bring our Spike back. I know he does hold some blame for what happened, but you have to understand that we cannot move on if we dwell on what Discord did instead of forgiving him, we cannot move on and, in the process, we'll all become more and more bitter to not just Discord, but everyone we know."

"Wow," Garble was astonished. "When did you become like this?"

"I learned from the best," Smolder chuckled, nudging Fluttershy.

"Thank you, Smolder. Getting back to the serious matter, though, you are right. I think it's time we paid him a visit," Fluttershy spoke up, her meek tone replaced with a determined one. "He needs to know that his heart was in the right place and that Spike, like the kind, caring soul he was, held no hate towards him"

Everypony agreed. With that being said, the nine ponies raced outside to Celestia and Luna's chariot, climbed inside, and they rode back as fast as they could to Celestia's and Luna's castle, determined to go find Discord and sort things out with him.

***

Discord sighed as he looked out the window of his guest bedroom. Everything that was either purple or green reminded him of Spike. It didn't help that there was a tree right in front of his window surrounded by grass. Discord would always cry himself to sleep each night, but just because he was asleep didn't mean his troubles were over for the day. In his dreams, a vision of Spike would appear in his mind, covered in blood and cuts, he had a charred abdomen, and he wore a blank expression. Worst of all, five seconds after his vision of Spike appeared, the injured dragon would open his mouth and just let out a blood-curdling scream for a full minute then collapse on the ground and before being enveloped in a cloud of smoke. When the cloud of smoke cleared, Spike was gone, the only thing that reminded Discord of what he just witnessed was a small pool of blood on the ground. Discord would always wake up in a cold sweat after he looked at the pool of blood and it would take an hour, sometimes two, to fall back asleep. Discord experienced the same nightmare at least twice each night during those ten, gruelling days since one of his close friends died. The worst night was the night after the funeral, when Discord had the same nightmare seven times and had only gotten two hours of sleep. He had put a spell up that prevented Princess Luna from seeing his horrifying nightmares believing that this was part of what he deserved. The Draconequus was known for being a bit of a troublemaker even after his reform, but the one time he tried to do something for his best friends it went horribly wrong. He knew that the second that Twilight and her friends found him, they'd turn him back into stone. Of course, he believed it was what he deserved, but every time he got the courage to get up and go to the Casle of Friendship, it died at the last minute. Every time this happened, Discord felt ten times worse than he did before.

A knock was heard at the front door and Discord slowly walked to it and looked through the peephole. Instantly, his gut dropped. He could see Twilight Sparkle and one or two of her friends. He knew Twilight was going to turn him back into stone. He knew there was no point in running, he did this and it was time to face the music. He slowly opened the door, the wooden object letting out a low creaking noise as it slowly revealed the depressed being behind it.

"I know why you're here, Twilight," Discord sighed sadly. "I know what I did, but no matter how much I hope, no matter how much I try, I cannot see you or your friends ever forgiving me. So, please, just turn me into stone again and get it over with. I deserve it."

Twilight was taken aback. She already knew Discord was upset, but she hadn't expected him to be tore up to the point where he wanted to be petrified in stone for a third time. Celestia, Luna, the other members of Spike's harem also seemed a little shocked by Discord's behavior.

"Discord," Luna spoke. "We're not here to turn you back into stone, we just want to talk."

"Oh, do you have another punishment in mind?" Discord asked, his tone seemed the same.

"No, Discord," Celestia said calmly. "We're not here to punish you at all."

Discord was shocked, "I-Is this a joke? Please don't toy with me like this. I know what I did was wrong, but don't leave me in the dark about my punishment."

"No, we're not joking. Listen, Discord, we may be angry for what you did, but we know deep down that you never meant for this to happen. You may have drug us into your mess but you also managed to get yourself out of it," Twilight said kindly

Discord remembered what Twilight was referring to. How he'd freed everycreature in Equestria by goading Tirek into blasting away the chard of Chrysalis' throne restraining Starlight, causing a domino effect for everyone else.

"While I see your point there, it still doesn't take away from the fact that one of our close friends lost his life due to me," Discord said, beginning to tear up. "I've been having the same nightmare about Spike every night."

"What sort of nightmares?" Rainbow Dash asked.

Discord gulped and then went into detail about his recurring nightmare about Spike. How he was so badly injured, how he had that blank expression, and how he'd just let out that awful scream before collapsing on the grond in a bloody mess. He also recalled how he woke up in a cold sweat every night at least twice. When Luna asked why she couldn't see his nightmares, he told her he had put a spell up to block her from seeing it because he thought this was part of was what he deserved. When he was finished, he looked like he was about to cry.

"The worst part about this whole thing is Spike died hating me for what I did. He's not wrong either, I feel fully responsible for what happened to him. If I hadn't put them together, he'd still be alive," Discord choked out. Unable to bear the pain any longer he broke down and began to cry.

After hearing this, Fluttershy trotted over and hugged her Draconequus before looking him right in the eye.

The cream colored Pegasus looked very serious, "Listen, Discord. I am your best friend and as your best friend, I know you very well. I know that you're sometimes a troublemaker and mischievous person, but you have a caring heart deep inside you. You tried to do something to help us and it unexpectedly went south. You couldn't have thought that Chrysalis, Tirek, and Cozy Glow would've stabbed you in the back like that. I also want to make something very clear right now, Spike was not angry at you or hated you for what happened to him. In fact right before he died, he used one of his last breaths to tell us not to be hard on you. He said that you never intended this to happen. If he were alive now, he'd want us to go over there and forgive you, it's just who he was. If we cannot forgive you, we are going against his final wishes and thus dishonoring his memory ," Fluttershy said, her turquiose eyes vibrationg with the same seriousness, but at the same time hope, at the day of the funeral when she gave a similar speech to an emotionally broken Twilight.

Smolder wanted to add something.

"Also, you should realize that you need help moving on just as much as we do. If we do not forgive you, not only do we lose the ability to travel down the road to recovery successfully, we'll also become bitter and angry to not just you, but everyone we know as well."

After listening to his best friend's speech, Discord felt like crying again, but this time it was out of happiness.

"Thank you. Thank you all so much," he whispered as he wrapped Fluttershy in a hug as he wept.

Slowly, the other ponies, Dragons, Griffon, even Celestia and Luna, joined in the hug and Discord couldn't be happier.

For a full minute they all just hugged each other and didn't say a word. Afterword they broke away before Fluttershy spoke up again.

"You've been couped up for too long in this small room and you need help dealing with your night terrors. It's time we headed back to the Castle of Friendship for some tea and we can talk about the things that we loved most about Spike. How does that sound?" Fluttershy asked sweetly.

"That would be lovely. Thank you, Fluttershy," Discord smiled back.

Fluttershy turned toward the other 14 creatures. They felt so touched at Fluttershy's actions at reconnecting with Discord.

"Well done, Fluttershy," Princess Celestia said. "Today, you and your friends have proven that you all have a little bit of Spike's spirit in you."

"I couldn't agree more," Luna added. "I have no doubt that Prince Spike has never been more proud as he's looking down at us from the heavens."

With that Discord and Fluttershy took the lead as they walked back to the chariot to be transported back home, all feeling their hope they had gotten from each other right after the funeral strengthening twice as much or, in Smolder's case after a little guidance from Fluttershy, herself, two days after the funeral.

Chapter 7: Heaven

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TEN DAYS EARLIER

Spike felt all his pain suddenly vanish and he felt himself being lifted up off the ground. He opened his eyes to find he was no longer in his regular body. His eyes darted around until they fell upon his beloved harem members, Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, and Fluttershy, sobbing over a destroyed, bloody body that the spirit of the Dragon once occupied.

"Girls! Up here!" Spike screamed, trying desperately to get their attention. It didn't work.

He did this a good five times, but each time was as unsuccessful as the first. He soon found himself levitating until he was on top of an enormous cloud. In front of him was a large, golden gate and to his left as a cherry wood desk with a pony behind it. She had snow white fur with sky blue eyes and a golden yellow mane and tail. She had two beautiful, large wing that were the same color as her fur and there was a glowing, golden yellow halo levitating above her forehead. He walked up to the desk and the pony took notice.

"Hello, little one," she said kindly. "Welcome to heaven, where dreams come true. My name is Sunny Ray. What's your name?"

"Um, hello," Spike said sheepishly. "My name is Spike."

Sunny instantly became shocked.

"Spike?" she asked. "Like Spike the Brave and Glorious?"

"Uh, yeah," Spike said.

"But," Sunny stammered. "Why did you end up here at such a young age?"

Spike sighed and explained about the battle. How he grabbed Grogar's bell due to his lightning-quick thinking, how he had tricked Cozy, Chrysalis, and Tirek into firing blast after blast at the enchanted until it blew up, how enveloped all four of them in a surge of the overloaded magic, how he had told the girls, who made up one half of his harem and whohe loved with every fiber of his being, that as long as they were safe, he was happy, and how he had croaked out to them to pass the message the other half of his harem that he loved them as well. When he was finished, Sunny was both shocked and sad.

The moment was broken by a blood-curdling scream. Spike peered over the edge of the cloud to find the other half of his harem, excluding Starlight, who was crying silently, Ember, and Thorax sobbing over his dead body. The Princesses and Garble were also there. The Princesses stood solitary and were, like Starlight, also crying silently. Garble had his arms wrapped around his little sister, who looked the most destroyed out of everyone there. Spike had no doubt in his mind that Smolder probably let out that scream. He teared up at the sight and the worst part was, for him, not being able to give the other half of his harem, as well as his two best friends, some kind of sliver of comfort.

"Is that your harem?" Sunny asked.

"Yeah," Spike said as a tear fell from his face. "All 12 of them are there."

Sunny did a double take.

"Wait, what?" she asked. "You had 12 girls who loved you?"

"Yeah," Spike said.

He preceeded to point out and name each harem member to Sunny. Sunny felt really bad for him.

"At least I know they're safe now," Spike smiled sadly. "I love you, girls. Please don't be sad."

Sunny wrapped him in a hug.

"I'm sorry, little guy," she said. "Ordinarily, we do give people a little background check, but considering your history of being a hero and saving the ones that you loved most, I think we'll take the expressway to heaven. What do you say?"

Spike was shocked, "You mean it?"

"You bet," Sunny smiled.

"Thanks, Sunny," Spike said.

"You're welcome," Sunny replied.

Sunny went back behind her desk and opened the gates.

"There you go, Spike," Sunny said. "Enjoy. You've earned it."

"Thanks again, Sunny," Spike said. "I really appreciate it."

"You're welcome, Spike," Sunny said.

The two bid each other farewell and Spike walked through the gates. The little Dragon did have a strange feeling in his chest the he'd see his harem again soon, but he didn't know when it'd happen. He soon came across two snow white, female alicorns. They also had one halo each levitating over their foreheads and a golden tiara rested on each of their heads. When they saw Spike, they instantly recognised him.

"Hello, Spike," one Alicorn said. "My name is Aris and this is my sister, Erin. We are the twin Godesses of heaven."

"I've heard of you two," Spike said. "I did read a few books about you both, as well as heaven itself, in the Castle library.

"We've heard of you as well," Erin said. "You've become a famous hero, a diplomat for two nations, and netted a harem of 12 girls by the age of 13."

"You're also here, because you sacrificed yourself saving your friends and lovers," Aris added.

"How-How did..." Spike stammered.

"We see all that goes on in the land of Equestria," Erin said.

"Wow," Spike said. "I don't know what to say. So, you two watch over the heavens?"

"Not just that," Aris corrected. "We also like to give any newcomers what's in style up here."

"Oh?" asked Spike. "What's that?"

"Close your eyes and reopen them in exactly ten seconds," Aris instructed.

Spike did what he was told, counted to ten, and reopened his eyes. Erin supplied him with a mirror and Spike was shocked at how he looked now. He had a golden halo just like Sunny and the Heaven Goddesses that stood before him and his small, purple wings were gone. In their place were two large, white, feathery wings.

"What do you think?" asked Aris.

"It's great," Spike smiled. "Thanks, you two."

"You've earned it, Prince Spike," Erin smiled back. "Please come with us, There's actually two people whom I believe you'd love to meet."

"Okay," Spike said.

The two Alicorns took off and Spike followed close behind.

***

The Alicorns flew until they reached a large, white house on a lone cloud.

"Wait here." Aris instructed.

Spie did as he was told. A few minutes later, the door opened and Erin and Aris stepped out, followed by two big Dragons, one male and one female. Both sported a golden yellow halo and a pair of snow white, feathery, large wings as well.

The male had purple scales that matched Spike's perfectly on the majority on his body. The male Dragon also had a muscular build and had an underbelly with scales that were a lighter tone of purple. His head crest looked almost identical to Spike's, only being a little too pointy, as well as being a very dark purple in color, and he had purple eyes. The female Dragon had a slim build, somewhat like Ember, moderate blue scales on the majority of her body with an underbelly that had light green underscales that matched Spike's perfectly. Her head crest was green in color and was rounded on the top, matching the shape and color of Spike's perfectly. She had Emerald eyes that were also the same color of Spike's.

"Tyson and Kimba," Erin announced. "I know you've been watching over your son for 13 long years. Now, he has reunited with you, and I know you all have some catching up to do."

She then turned to Spike.

"Spike, I'd like you to meet your father, Tyson, and your mother, Kimba. They were killed when the cliff beneath their cave gave way. Your egg was sent airborne and was caught by another Dragon who happened to be passing by. He didn't know what to do with your egg. So, he flew to Canterlot and gave it to Celestia," she explained.

"Mom? Dad?" asked Spike. "Is it really you?"

"Yes, son," Tyson said with tears in his eyes. "It is."

Spike immediately jumped up and lunged toward his parents, wrapping an arm each around their necks. His parents did the same with him.

"We will leave you three to enjoy your family reunion," Arin announced. "We must be off. Heaven isn't going to guard itself."

With that said, the two Alicorns flew off, leaving the three dragons alone to enjoy the fact that they were now a complete family after over 13 years apart.

"Come on, Spike," Kimba smiled as she guided her son through the front door of the house that belonged to Tyson and her. "We have a lot of catching up to do with each other."

Spike grinned from ear to ear. He was going to enjoy his new life here, finally reunited with the family he thought he'd never find.

Chapter 8: The Villains' Awakening and Comeuppance

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CANTERLOT DUNGEON, ONE HOUR AFTER THE BATTLE

Chrysalis' vision was blurry as she felt herself come around. She felt like someone had taken a battleaxe to her head.

"Ugh, what happened?" she groaned.

The room that she was in was made of stone and only had one window with three bars. Then she noticed she was on the bottom bunk of a bunk bed. There was another bed on the other side of the room and its occupant was Cozy Glow, who was still unconscious. Chrysalis wouldn't have payed much attention if she didn't notice that Cozy didn't have her horn and her wings seemed a lot smaller. The reality of the situation slowly sunk in for the former Changeling Queen. She jumped out of bed and looked at the top bunk. There was Tirek, who was also unconscious, and he looked like the fragile, old Cenataur when they first met him in "Grogar's" lair. Chrysalis then bolted to a mirror and sure enough, her enchanted powers were gone too. She looked like the same creature that she did after she had been defeated by Starlight Glimmer. The only differnce was that now, the ends of her teal mane were singed a moderate shade of grey.

Cozy Glow was next to wake up. She too had a splitting headache and felt a lot weaker. She looked back at her wings and noticed they were a lot smaller. She put a hoof on top of her head and noticed that her horn was no longer there. She tried to wrack her brain to figure out what happened, Chrysalis was doing the same thing. Then all their memeories hit both of them simultaneously like a fully loaded freight train. How Spike had nabbed Grogar's Bell from them, how they had chased him and fired at the bell without even thinking about if that would damage it or not, and how they blew up the bell when they fired all their blasts at the same time, all the while thinking Spike was the dumb one flying toward the power-hungry trio.

"I can't believe it," Chrysalis growled. "That repulsive, little reptile defeated all three of us."

"Yeah, thanks to you," Cozy Glow bitterly remarked.

Chrysalis was taken aback, "Oh, really? And how was it my fault that we got defeated?" she snapped.

"Oh, I don't know you were the one who had that idiot in your magic grip. You couldn't have ripped out his wings right then and there?" Cozy Glow replied.

"How was I supposed to know he would go and pull something like that? I thought I pulled on his wings hard enough to break them and render them useless. I just wanted to give him back to those stupid ponies so they could all enjoy a miserable death together," Chrysalis hissed back.

Cozy and Chrysalis' argument soon found it's way to Tirek's ears. Af first, it worked it's way into his dreams, but then it slowly drove the Centaur into consciousness. He let out a groan and sat up. Chrysalis and Cozy didn't seem to notice him, they were too busy arguing. The old creature looked around at his surroundings, a medium-sized room made of stone with just one window with bars on it, one bunk bed, and one regular bed. He looked himself over and instantly realized that his hulking, muscular, rejuvinated frame was gone, replaced with his old, brittle, skinny frame. Like Cozy and Chrysalis, he too recalled the events of his defeat at the hands of Spike. Unlike Cozy and Chrysalis, however, he didn't jump in and argue with them, but instead rolled back into bed, pulled the covers over him. He figured he was in enough trouble as it was and felt it was best to just keep his mouth shut.

Eventually a guard passing by overheard the Pegasus and former Changeling Queen's argument and banged against the wooden door.

"Quiet in there!" he barked.

"Get lost," Chrysalis shouted back. "You've already defeated us with that horrid dragon of yours. Isn't that enough?"

The guard's expression suddenly darkened and his tone seemed a little bit angrier.

"I'll have you know that "horrid dragon" is dead. The magic surge killed him in a very brutal and painful way. You should also know that he had a harem of 12 girls, one of which suffers from depression and is having the hardest time out of them all. So, show some respect for him. That's the very least you can do," the guard said.

Cozy and Tirek seemed a little surprised by the news. Chrysalis, however, just grinned evilly.

"Oh, dear," Chrysalis sarcastically began. "I'm so sorry that had to happen to him, but look at it this way. After I met Cozy Glow, she told me about how Spike was an orphan. Maybe now that he's dead, he can reunite with his parents in the bowels of Tartarus and they can all enjoy the comforts that it has to offer to them together. As a family."

Chrysalis threw back her head and began to laugh at her own callous comment. Cozy and Tirek couldn't help but seem a little shocked at Chrysalis' harsh words. They hated Spike just as much as she did, but they had enough dignity to respect the dead. The guard's look changed from angered to disgusted. He shook his head in disbelief at the former Changeling Queen showing no remorse for the death of a kid and continued walking down the narrow hallway.

Chrysalis finally finished laughing and looked at her cohorts. She seemed oblivious at their shocked expression as she continued to speak.

"What? Aren't you excited? That miserable lizard is now dead and I can only imagine what torture those ponies are going through," she said, her tone rivaing that of a filly in a candy shop.

"Chrysalis, don't you have any respect for him at all?" Cozy Glow asked.

"Not a chance in hell," Chrysalis responded coldly. "Don't tell me you feel sorry for them."

"Well, we did have a little respect for them being our rivals and all," Cozy Glow admitted.

"We also shouldn't disrespect the dead," added Tirek. "Sure, Cozy and I hated all of them just as much as you did, but we also should know where to draw the line."

"Oh, please," Chrysalis said. "He was a complete nobody and I honestly cannot believe either of you speaking out in support in him."

Cozy and Tirek could see there was no point in arguing anymore with Chrysalis. They both let out a sigh and crawled back into bed.

Chrysalis just walked toward the window and she stared out of it. Even though she was miffed at her cohorts feeling sorry for their enemies, it didn't dampen her good mood. Even though she was defeated, the fact that one of her enemies was killed was reward enough for her.

11 DAYS LATER

Today was the day that the defeated villains were expecting a visit from Twilight, her friends, and the other Princesses. This was the day that Cozy and Tirek both dreaded, but Chrysalis was really excited. She knew exactly what to say to them to hopefully get them really angry. Sure enough, Twilight Sparkle came to face them in their cell, along with the other Members of Spike's harem, Princess Celestia, Princess Luna, Princess Cadance, Shining Armor, The Young Six, Garble, Ember, Thorax, and Discord.

Cozy and Tirek both wore annoyed expressions. They weren't looking forward to the tongue lashing that the Princesses and Twilight were going to give them. Chrysalis, however, was eager to see how her insults would play out on the new arrivals.

"Hello, Chrysalis, Tirek, Cozy Glow," Twilight said bitterly.

"Hello, Twilight," Chrysalis said, her voice oozing with venom. "Say, where's that little pet dragon of yours? Or was he your boyfriend? I honestly can't remember. Either way, I would've assumed he'd want to come along too."

Everyone except Cozy Glow and Tirek winced slightly at Chrysalis' words, feeling disgusted with her unremorseful attitude.

"I think you know what happened to him," Celestia said simply.

Chrysalis snickered before Twilight spoke up.

"Listen up, you've all been charged with 1st degree murder. Cozy, since you're a child we cannot charge you with treason. How do you plead?" Twilight said curtly.

"Guilty. No contest," Cozy and Tirek said in unison. The Centaur and filly Pegasus knew it was no point in saying innocent. The chips were stacked too tall against them and a trial would only prolong the ordeal for them.

"Chrysalis, we didn't hear your plea," Luna said.

Everyone turned to face her.

"Guilty. No contest," she answered, letting out an annoyed sigh.

Everyone felt even more disgusted with Chrysalis' attitude. Even though Tirek and Cozy were just as guilty as her, they, at least, looked a tiny bit remorseful at first glance, although they didn't want them to see it. Chrysalis didn't even look like Spike's death affected her in any way. In fact, she seemed happy about it. It was as if she had wanted this to happen all along. Chrysalis looked the perturbed ponies, dragons, griffons, changleing, yak, hippogriff, and Draconequus standing before her.

"What?" she asked, pretending as if she didn't know why they were all mad at her to begin with. "Why are you all angry?"

"Oh, I don't know," came a voice. "Maybe it's because you're still showing no remorse after killing someone, a kid for that matter."

"Who said that?" Chrysalis growled. "Show yourself, now!"

Chrysalis looked around to see where that voice came from, but eventually Starlight came up to her.

"That was me," Starlight said through clenched teeth.

Chrysalis' demeanor changed from angry to excited lookihg at the angry visage of her arch-enemy. Although she hated Starlight most of all, she now knew exactly what to say to taunt the already angry Pink Unicorn. An evil grin spread across her face.

"Oh my," Chrysalis mused. "Whatever happened to the Starlight I knew who wanted to reform me? Certainly, out of everyone here, I would've expected you to be the one who extended me a hoof of friendship hoping to lead me down a better path."

"That was before you became a deranged psychopath hellbent on trying to kill us all," Starlight snapped back. "Had I known that you were going to go and pull a stunt like this, I would've just put you out of your misery right then and there."

"But you didn't," Chrysalis said in a sing-song voice before laughing again. "And, boy, did you pay a price for it. Such a shame too. Although he was a complete nuisance, I must admit that stupid boyfriend of yours, was such a promising soul, so full of life, so ready to take on all the challenges the world had to offer to him. He won't be missed. Ever."

Starlight glared at her arch-rival. Chrysalis' taunts were really starting to make her angry. She wasn't the only one either. Thorax and Ember's glares harshened. As Spike was their best friend, they certainly didn't appreciate hearing some bastard trash talk him while he was dead. Smolder was already just as angry as Starlight was now by just looking at Chrysalis' face. However, listening to her mock the one she loved more than anything in the world made her furious. Before Starlight could retort, the seething, orange dragon stomped up to face Chrysalis.

"He was just a kid, you fiend!" she shouted.

Chrysalis just shrugged.

"Ehh, kids grow up to be problems in this world. You, my friend, are no exception. The way I see it, I've made not just this hellhole you call your home, but the entire world, a better place by ridding it of one more flaw."

"He was worth an infinite number of you!" Smolder countered. "He was more sweet, more pure, more loving, and, best of all, he was loved by many. Unlike you."

"Please do us both a favor, you insignificant, little insect, and shut the hell up," Chrysalis said, growing annoyed. "Your insults don't hurt me in any way and they won't bring your boyfriend back."

Smolder's face changed from angry to shocked. No one had ever talked to her like that. Before she could think of a comeback, Starlight spoke up again.

"Well, just remember that we're not the ones in the cell," Starlight snarled. "Before I leave here though, however, I just want ask one thing. Was it worth it? Was not being my friend just to try to take Equestria but failing miserably worth all this?"

This was the shot Chrysalis was waiting for, rub Spike's death in everyone's faces a little more and really get under their skin.

"On the contrary, it is actually us who have defeated you," Chysalis smirked. "See, you may have stopped us, but at what cost? We may be defeated, but the fact that we got one of you is more than reward enough for me alone, but now it's even better because 12 of you misguided fools actually thought of him as more than a friend. I was already pleased thinking about how much torture you twits were going through, but hearing that fact made that feeling of happiness indescribable. The icing on the cake of this whole ordeal is, if I remember correctly, he was an orphan. I'm willing to bet money that he's probably already reunited with his parents in the bowels of Tartarus. Now, they can all enjoy rotting down there together. So, in a way, I did him a favor. Now, rather than having no other choice but to consider any of you idiots his family, he gets to be with his true family. It's honestly funny how things work out sometimes. Wouldn't you agree?"

Starlight's vision and face went redder than Applejack's cutie mark. Never in her life had she ever come across a creature so cruel, so shameless, so callous, so evil before. The pink unicorn let out an uncharacteristic growl. If given the chance, she could very well have killed Chrysalis right now. Cozy and Tirek both took a step back. They knew it was best not to intervine with them as that might be just the thing to push the ponies, dragons, griffons, changleing, yak, hippogriff, and Draconequus over the edge and they didn't want to get into any more trouble. They couldn't help but feel more shocked at Chrysalis' harsh, cold words.

Ember and Thorax looked at Chrysalis with shock. That shock, however, quickly gave way to rage. Thorax's eyes saw red as he looked at Chrysalis. Ember let out a growl and clenched her fists.

"You really think this is FUNNY?!!" Ember shouted.

"Funny, no. Hilarious yes," Chrysalis corrected.

Smolder's demeanor changed from furious to irate. Never before had she felt such hate against a creature in her entire life. Her fists clenched tighter than ever before, her cheeks turned a darker shade of orange, she bared and gnashed her teeth, letting a somewhat loud growl escape from her throat, and a thin trail of black smoke slowly seeped out of her nostrils.

Chrysalis gave herself a mental pat on the back looking at the seething faces of Starlight Glimmer and Smolder, as well as many other creatures in the hallway. A handful of them just stared at her with pure shock. They had, like Starlight, never come across someone as shameless as her and didn't know what to think or say. It had worked, she had said what she wanted to say just to be a brazen, unapologetic jackass. She turned back to face Starlight, who only looked even angrier.

"Something the matter, Starlight?" Chrysalis said, not bothering to hold back another snicker. "You look a little red. Do you have a fever?"

Starlight turned to the Royal Sisters.

"Celestia, Luna," Starlight said through clenched teeth. "Could you kindly hand me the keys to this demon's cell and grant me five minutes alone with her?"

"Is this a private event, Starlight?" Smolder said with a louder growl and the smoke from her nostrils was getting thicker. "Or can anyone join?"

Garble stepped up to hopefully try and calm his boiling sister down. He put a hand on her shoulder before speaking.

"Smolder, come on," he said. "She's not worth-"

Smolder abruptly swatted his hand away, never taking her eyes of Chrysalis, the object of her fury.

"No," she snarled. "This sick, twisted psycho tried to destroy the whole world and our Spike had to pay with his life to save us. Now, she not only has no remorse for what she did, but she has the audacity to make fun of him while he's dead IN FRONT OF US!!!"

Smolder almost screamed out the last four words of her sentence. A few creatures were scared seeing not just Smolder, but Thorax, Starlight, and Ember as well, pushed to the point where they all wanted to fight Chrysalis.

"Well, I'm sick of it. It's clear any time in jail isn't going to do her or us any good. It's high time Starlight, Ember, Thorax, and I gave this lunatic the punishment she's had coming for a long time," Smolder finished. Her tone had turned from shouting to low and scary.

"I want in on this too," growled Ember as she cracked her knuckles.

"Same here," snarled Thorax.

By now, everyone, except the four seething creatures and Fluttershy, were frozen in fear. Smolder's close friends all stared at her in shock. They had never seen Smolder, or anyone on that matter, this angry before. Neither had Garble. Gallus' knees quivered. He did enjoy pulling a prank or two on Smolder from time to time, as well as Smolder chasing him down and warning him of dire consequences if he ever tried it again, but now, it seemed Smolder was at least twenty times angrier than all the times she was with him from all the pranks he pulled on her combined.

Pharynx looked at his brother with the same shock. He had never seen his brother even slightly angry in his whole life. Ocellus wanted to say something, anything, to calm down the king of her species, but she couldn't think of anything and seeing Thorax so livid scared her half to death. Tears of fear brimmed in her eyes as she looked back and fourth between Thorax's furious expresion and Chrysalis' smug one. She didn't want to see someone who she basically considered her father to hurt someone else out of pure rage, even if they deserved it.

Chysalis, on the other hand, wasn't phased at all.

"Oh, what? What are you gonna do?" she cackled. "Friendship me to death? Kill me with kindness? Now, that's something I'd like to see you try."

Before the four seething creatures could say another word, Fluttershy stepped inbetween them. She whispered something in Starlight's ear for a few seconds, which seemed to calm the Pink Unicorn down, before doing the same with Smolder, Ember, and Thorax. Although it did calm her down, Smolder wanted to say one last thing to the unremorseful, sadistic creep before her.

"I want to make something very, very clear right now," Smolder said with another loud growl. "You're bucking lucky that Fluttershy was here to calm us down or Starlight, Thorax, Ember, and I would've personally made sure that you would not live to see your sentencing. Part of me still does want nothing more than to tear you limb from limb to show you personally what kind of pain we go through every day, as well as the kind of pain you put our Spike through in his last moments of life. Just remember that."

Once Smolder was finished, the cream colored Pegasus turned to face the arrogant, barefaced, disgraced Changeing Queen. Her turquiose eyes vibrating with determination for the third time in less than two weeks. Chrysalis just looked right back at her with the same smirk, but she wasn't aware of what this usually shy pony had to say to her.

"You may have taken Spike's body from us, but there are two things you will never, ever take away from us. The first is his spirit. We all hold a little bit of him inside us. His kindness, generosity, laughter, loyalty, and honesty all live on inside our hearts. The other thing is all the happy memories that we have made with him. We will always have things that will remind us of all the fun things we all did together with him. His love for us, as well as the love we felt for him, is something you would never be able to suck out of us because even one percent of it would overload the system that resides inside your souless body. My pride as being one of his twelve marefriends increases ten-fold with each passing day. We've seen thousands of creatures of all kinds support us and praise Spike. Those who barely even knew him were writing poems and sending letters praising him on a daily basis. I've never seen a single person in the time I've known you ever come out in support of you. I think I'll leave you to think about that as you sit here until your sentencing," Fluttershy said, her tone had shifted to Bold Fluttershy.

Chrysalis' smirk slowly faded. By the time Fluttershy finished her speech, Chrysalis looked at her in shock. At the back of the room, Cozy and Tirek's shock changed to dumbfounded amazement, both their mouths hung slightly open. They had never expected such strong words to come from such a meek, quiet Pegasus. Everyone else seemed a little shocked by Fluttershy's change in demeanor as well. Fluttershy looked back at Twilight who began to step forward to say when the villains would be sentenced.

"Since you have all plead guilty no contest, you will not have a trial. Your sentencing date will be scheduled in two weeks time," Twlight said, looking all three of them right in the eye. "This meeting is concluded. I will see you then."

With nothing left to say, Twilight looked back at her friends and other Princesses. They all looked back at her, nodded to each other, and trotted out of the dungeon hallway, leaving one evil-doer shocked into silence and the other two evil-doers in dumbfounded amazement.

TWO WEEKS LATER

Twilight let out a sigh as she walked into Celestia and Luna's throne room. Today was the day that the Legion of Doom was finally going to be sentenced for their crimes. Accompanying the Lavendar Alicorn and the other harem members at the sentencing were the Young Six, Discord, Garble and his posse, Thorax, and Ember. Twilight took the lead as she lead the group to the side door to the throne room.

Chrysalis and Tirek were both facing the death penalty. Tirek didn't even care about what his punishment was. He had already accepted his fate from the minute he had woken up in his prison cell bed. Chrysalis had also accepted her fate. In fact, she was looking forward to getting sentenced to death and just get it all over with.

The large group of creatures were lead into a side door that lead them all to two lone chairs on an elevated platform. The two chairs faced the front door and in those two Chairs sat the Royal Sisters themselves. Celestia and Luna heard the door open and looked in that direction. They saw Twilight followed by her friends, her friends' little sisters, the God of Chaos, the Dragon Lord, the Changeling King, the Young SIx, four teenage dragons, and a grey Griffon.

"Hello, Celestia," Twilight said.

"Greetings, Twilight," Celestia responded, giving her former pupil a hug.

The warm moment was broken up by a knock at the front door.

"Enter," Celestia called out.

The door opened to reveal ten royal guards forming two lines. Between those two lines stood two creatures shackled and, in Tirek's case, handcuffed. They didn't say a word as the stoic guards led them to the Royal Sisters and the 24 new arrivals. Celestia and Luna glared at the frail Centaur and former Changeling Queen both as they slowly walked up to face them.

"As you both know, today is the day that you will be sentenced for your crimes. Do you have anything you want to say before we sentence you?" Celestia asked, not letting up on her glare. Neither did Luna.

Neither Tirek or Chrysalis said a word.

"Very well then, we shall proceed," Luna said. She took out a scroll and read what the decided sentence was for both creatures. "For the punishment 1st degree murder, the decided sentence is execution for both of you .Your execution is set from a month from now. Do you have anything you'd like to say for yourselves?"

Chrysalis and Tirek once again remained silent.

"Alright then, this sentencing is concluded. Take them to prison please," Celestia ordered the guards.

"As you wish, Princess Celestia," the guards all said in unison before beckoning to the two prisoners to come with them. They all trotted slowly to the front door, matching the pace of the two convicts. It seemed like forever, but eventually the guards were out the front door. Once the guards were out the door, Spike's harem, Celestia, Luna, the Young Six, Thorax, Ember, Discord, and even Garble and his buddies embraced each other in a giant group hug. For a solid minute, all the 26 creatures did was hug each other and not say a word. The throne room was peacefully quiet as they did so. Finally they broke away. Twilight took out a picture and everyone looked at it with a sad smile. The photo was of Spike in the center of it being surrounded and hugged by his whole harem. They were sitting on the couch in the friendship castle and they all were looking at the camera with big smiles. The photo was taken only two days before that fateful battle.

"Justice was served for Spike today. Thank you, Luna and Celestia," Twilight said wiping away a tear.

"It was nothing," Celestia said, hugging Twilight again.

"Although I can't help but feel a little sorry for Cozy Glow," Thorax said. "Even if she was dispicable, it really is sad that she had to go through all that pain."

"Agreed," Twilight said. "It was unfortunate what she had to go through, and I wish we would've helped her instead of sending her to Tartarus."

If everyone was being honest with themselves, they all felt sorry for what she had to go through and what led up to her becoming evil. At the same time though, they were glad that those other two fiends were off the streets for good. Today was a good day, justice had been served for all of Equestria, more importantly Spike, and there world be no more attacks threatening all of Equestria anymore.

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

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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 hisdeath 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.

Chapter 10: Watching Over The Ones He Loves Pt. 2

View Online

FOUR DAYS LATER

After that little encounter with Smolder's newfound depression, Spike and his parents had made a vow to check on the harem at least twice a day from now on. Today when Spike woke up, however, he felt like he was forgetting something. No matter how many times he brushed it off, it always came back to latch onto him. His parents and he were just flying oer the castle when they noticed The Princesses also nearing the castle in an enchanted chariot. All three watched as they landed in front of the large building where Twilight and her friends resided. After ordering the Pegasai who pulled the cart to wait for them, they both slowly walked to the entrance of the Friendship Castle, looked at each other, took a deep breath, and knocked on the door.

"I'm coming," a voice called from the other side.

The door opened to reveal Twilight.

Hey, Celestia and Luna. What can I do for you?" Twilight asked. She did still seem a little sad.

"Hello, Twilight. May we come inside, please? We need to talk with you and your friends," Luna responded calmly.

"Certainly," Twilight smiled. "Can we discuss it in the map room?"

"Of course," Celestia replied.

With that said, Twilight rushed off to gather her friends and the Princesses headed to the map room and patiently waited inside. Spike ans his parents also followed them in there. It didn't take the Princesses or the spirits long to notice a stone chair smaller than the other six. On head rest was a picture of Spike, he was looking at the camera with a big smile. On the seat of the chair were several bouquets of flowers with a golden medal on the top, it was the Royal Advisor medal Twilight had given Spike no more than ten days ago. On the armrests sat two lit candles, one purple and one green, for each side. Below the picture sat a shiny golden plaque which was reflecting some of the yellow glow of the small candle flames. There were cursive letters carved into the plaque, they were easy to read with the help of the light of the candle flames.

Spike The Dragon
Beloved Boyfriend, Friend, Brother, Son, and Hero

The Princesses teared up a bit at the bittersweet sight of all the things that decorated Spike's chair. Spike and his parents did also. Words couldn't describe how proud Tyson and Kimba were of their son. In just over 13 years, he had already touched so many lives enough to make them return the favor with a memorial like this. The moment was interrupted when they all heard a door opening as Twilight walked into the room accompanied by the other members of Spike's harem and Garble. They took notice of the Princesses and, unknown to them, the spirits of Spike and his parents staring at the Spike's adorned map room chair and they all began looking longingly at it, feeling all the good memories of their fallen friend come rushing back and hitting them right in their emotions. Not a word was said as the 12 ponies, two Dragons, one Griffon, and three angels all continued to stare at the perminantly vacant stone chair. If a pin was dropped, everyone would've heard it. After 45 seconds of pure, dead silence, Princess Celestia finally cleared her throat and got the other eight Ponies' attention.

"Ahem, now that we got that out of the way, there's something that I need to talk to you all about," Celestia spoke up.

"Sure thing, Celestia. What's up?" came the heavy southern accent of Applejack.

"It's about Discord," Luna started.

Spike suddenly knew why he had that feeling when he woke up as well as al morning. He was so caught up with making sure his harem was coping with his loss so much that he had forgotten all about how Discord was doing. He could only hope that the girls had all taken his words of forgiveness to heart and not be angry with him. His hopes of that were dashed, however, when he saw all the girls, excluding Fluttershy, and Garble winced slightly as they heard Discord's name. He knew that they were still angry with Discord for his death even though he had asked for them to forgive him. He knew that they couldn't stay angry forever, but, in his eyes, the sooner they forgave him the sooner they'd be able to move. Fortunately for him, he wasn't the only one who thought that.

"What about him?" Rainbow Dash asked with a hint of bitterness in her tone.

"Well, you see, he's taken Spike's death just as hard as you girls," Celestia said.

"Hmph, I should hope so," Rarity huffed. "He's the reason why our Spikey-Wikey is gone in the first place."

"Not to mention my sister has to go back on her anti-depressants because of him," Garble added with a growl.

"I don't even know why were even bringing him up in the first place," Applejack added.

"Because he was trying to help you. We miss Spike just as much as you all do, but clinging to the past won't do any of us any good," Celestia said curtly.

"Oh, and how did he "help" us as you put it?" Rainbow Dash asked, the bitterness in her tone becoming a bit more evident.

"Remember how he realized his mistakes and how he promised to make it up to everyone?" Luna asked.

Rainbow fell silent, she remembered how Discord swore to them that he'd make it up to them, how the cyan Pegasus herself told him that, "it would have to be a pretty epic make-up". The ancient creature, however, was true to his word. He grabbed a crystal rock while trying to work out a bargain with the three fiends, eventually getting into a verbal fight with, and eventually angering Tirek to the point where the rejuvinated Cenataur tried to blast Discord. At the last second, Discord stuck out the crystal rock, Tirek's blast hit the rock, it ricocheted off of the object's reflective surface, and it ultimately obliterated the shard of Chrysalis' old throne that was subdueing Starlight in her cage, causing her to break free and the pink unicorn was able to break out every other creature. When Rainbow Dash, as well as her friends, thought about that way, they realized that while Discord may have gotten them into his mess, he managed to get them all out of it.

"Do you also remember what Spike said in his final moments about you all being hard on Discord?" Celestia added.

The other Element Bearers joined Rainbow deep in their thoughts.

"Listen, please don't be angry at Discord for this. He never intended this to happen.”

It was painful to remember his voice and seeing him dying on the ground right in front of them, but at the same time they realized that unlike them, Spike held no ill will toward Discord and knew that the ancient creature had good intentions. He had used one of his last breaths to beg them to drop any feelings of hate or anger harbored toward the Draconequus.

While the Element Bearers were deep in thought, Gabby spoke up. Because she wasn't there, the Grey Griffon, as well as the other members of Spike's harem and Garble, were very confused.

"What are you talking about?" she asked.

"In his last moments of life, Spike pled with the Element Bearers to forgive Discord rather than be angry with him," Luna explained.

"Huh," Said Applejack. "When you put it like that, I guess he did really try to help us, he just didn't plan for the villians to betray him so suddenly."

"Precisely," Celestia said. "Discord wasn't trying to bring you down. He just didn't think it through."

"He's in our castle right now in a guest bedroom. Celestia overheard him one time saying to himself that it was best if he never talked to any of you again," Luna added.

"If the truth be told, I've already forgiven him for what he's done," Smolder said.

Garble was completely shocked.

"What? Why?" he asked.

"Because, Gar-Gar," Smolder explained. "I need to move on from this event just as much as everyone else. If I am unable to forgive Discord, I feel like I cannot move on. No matter how much I hope or try, I know nothing can bring our Spike back. I know he does hold some blame for what happened, but you have to understand that we cannot move on if we dwell on what Discord did instead of forgiving him, we cannot move on and, in the process, we'll all become more and more bitter to not just Discord, but everyone we know."

"Wow," Garble was astonished. "When did you become like this?"

"I learned from the best," Smolder chuckled, nudging Fluttershy.

"Thank you, Smolder. Getting back to the serious matter, though, you are right. I think it's time we paid him a visit," Fluttershy spoke up, her meek tone replaced with a determined one. "He needs to know that his heart was in the right place and that Spike, like the kind, caring soul he was, held no hate towards him."

Spike felt tears of pride well up in his eyes. He knew if anyone could help lead the way it would be those two.

"Thank you, Smolder. Thank you, Fluttershy," he whispered. "You two really are an inspiration for all of Equestria."

Everypony agreed. With that being said, the nine ponies raced outside to Celestia and Luna's chariot, climbed inside, and they rode back as fast as they could to Celestia's and Luna's castle, determined to go find Discord and sort things out with him.

***

When they really stopped to think about it, Spike's parents had never bothered asking their son what had happened to cause his death. So, Spike took the liberty of explaining the whole battle from the beginning of the fight to when they were captured to when he saved his friends with a lightning-quick thought at the exchange of his own life. His parents, like the ponies, were very angry with him at first, but upon hearing Spike's explanation of why Discord did what he did, as well as hearing their son asking them to forgive him rather than be angry at him, Tyson and Kimba chose to follow Spike's advice and forgive Discord as well, realizing their son's reasoning was right, as well as being impressed with his mature mindset at such a young age. He also added that if it weren't for him, they wouldn't be reunited as a family right now.

Soon, Spike's harem, Garble, the Princesses, and the spirits of Spike and his parents arrived at the guest bedroom in Celestia and Luna's castle and they knocked on the door. It slowly creaked open to reveal a saddened Discord. Before Twilight could say another word, Discord started things off.

"I know why you're here, Twilight," Discord sighed sadly. "I know what I did, but no matter how much I hope, no matter how much I try, I cannot see you or your friends ever forgiving me. So, please, just turn me into stone again and get it over with. I deserve it."

Twilight was taken aback. She already knew Discord was upset, but she hadn't expected him to be tore up to the point where he wanted to be petrified in stone for a third time. Celestia, Luna, the other members of Spike's harem also seemed a little shocked by Discord's behavior. The most shocked out of the whole group were Spike and his parents. They knew Spike's death affected him emotionally, but, like Smolder, they seemed to have underestimated the amount of pain Discord was feeling.

"Discord," Luna spoke. "We're not here to turn you back into stone, we just want to talk."

"Oh, do you have another punishment in mind?" Discord asked, his tone seemed the same.

"No, Discord," Celestia said calmly. "We're not here to punish you at all."

Discord was shocked, "I-Is this a joke? Please don't toy with me like this. I know what I did was wrong, but don't leave me in the dark about my punishment."

"No, we're not joking. Listen, Discord, we may be angry for what you did, but we know deep down that you never meant for this to happen. You may have drug us into your mess but you also managed to get yourself out of it," Twilight said kindly

Discord remembered what Twilight was referring to. How he'd freed everycreature in Equestria by goading Tirek into blasting away the chard of Chrysalis' throne restraining Starlight, causing a domino effect for everyone else.

"While I see your point there, it still doesn't take away from the fact that one of our close friends lost his life due to me," Discord said, beginning to tear up. "I've been having the same nightmare about Spike every night."

"What sort of nightmares?" Rainbow Dash asked.

Discord gulped and then went into detail about his recurring nightmare about Spike. How he was so badly injured, how he had that blank expression, and how he'd just let out that awful scream before collapsing on the grond in a bloody mess. He also recalled how he woke up in a cold sweat every night at least twice. When Luna asked why she couldn't see his nightmares, he told her he had put a spell up to block her from seeing it because he thought this was part of was what he deserved. When he was finished, he looked like he was about to cry. Spike and his parents probably felt the most sorry for the poor, old creature.

"The worst part about this whole thing is Spike died hating me for what I did. He's not wrong either, I feel fully responsible for what happened to him. If I hadn't put them together, he'd still be alive," Discord choked out. Unable to bear the pain any longer he broke down and began to cry.

The spirit of Spike turned to Fluttershy.

"Come on, Fluttershy," Spike whispered. "It's now or never, sweetie."

As if she was able to know the spirit of Spike was speaking directly to her, Fluttershy trotted over and hugged her Draconequus before looking him right in the eye.

The cream colored Pegasus looked very serious, "Listen, Discord. I am your best friend and as your best friend, I know you very well. I know that you're sometimes a troublemaker and mischievous person, but you have a caring heart deep inside you. You tried to do something to help us and it unexpectedly went south. You couldn't have thought that Chrysalis, Tirek, and Cozy Glow would've stabbed you in the back like that. I also want to make something very clear right now, Spike was not angry at you or hated you for what happened to him. In fact right before he died, he used one of his last breaths to tell us not to be hard on you. He said that you never intended this to happen. If he were alive now, he'd want us to go over there and forgive you, it's just who he was. If we cannot forgive you, we are going against his final wishes and thus dishonoring his memory ," Fluttershy said, her turquiose eyes vibrationg with the same seriousness, but at the same time hope, at the day of the funeral when she gave a similar speech to an emotionally broken Twilight.

Smolder wanted to add something.

"Also, you should realize that you need help moving on just as much as we do. If we do not forgive you, not only do we lose the ability to travel down the road to recovery successfully, we'll also become bitter and angry to not just you, but everyone we know as well."

After listening to his best friend's speech, Discord felt like crying again, but this time it was out of happiness.

"Thank you. Thank you all so much," he whispered as he wrapped Fluttershy in a hug as he wept.

Slowly, the other ponies, Dragons, Griffon, even Celestia and Luna, joined in the hug and Discord couldn't be happier.

For a full minute they all just hugged each other and didn't say a word. Afterword they broke away before Fluttershy spoke up again.

"You've been couped up for too long in this small room and you need help dealing with your night terrors. It's time we headed back to the Castle of Friendship for some tea and we can talk about the things that we loved most about Spike. How does that sound?" Fluttershy asked sweetly.

"That would be lovely. Thank you, Fluttershy," Discord smiled back.

Fluttershy turned toward the other 14 creatures. They felt so touched at Fluttershy's actions at reconnecting with Discord.

"Well done, Fluttershy," Princess Celestia said. "Today, you and your friends have proven that you all have a little bit of Spike's spirit in you."

"I couldn't agree more," Luna added. "I have no doubt that Prince Spike has never been more proud as he's looking down at us from the heavens."

"That's a drastic understatement," Spike said.

With that Discord and Fluttershy took the lead as they walked back to the chariot to be transported back home, all feeling their hope they had gotten from each other right after the funeral strengthening twice as much or, in Smolder's case after a little guidance from Fluttershy, herself, two days after the funeral.

Spike and his parents probably felt the most touched out of everyone there. Tears of pride welled up in Spike's eyes. He had gone from worried to relieved.

"Good job," he whispered. "I'm proud of you all. Thank you for fulfilling my wish."

His parents and he joinned the others in watching Fluttershy and Discord slowly dissapear from sight, their good feelings never fading.

THE NEXT DAY

The spirits of Spike and his parents flew over the city of Canterlot. They had little time to admire the city's beauty because today was the day when Twilight would visit the vile monsters who ended the life of Spike to lie down the case against them. They soon arrived at the entrance of the Canterlot dungeons just as his harem, the Young six, the other three Princesses, Shining Armor, Garble, Ember, Thorax, and Discord also arrived. Even though Twilight was technically in the lead, the angel spirits of Spike and his parents were actually leading the way to Cozy, Tirek, and Chrysalis' cell. Spike and his parents soon made it there and Spike glared down the three fiends.

His glare softened, however, when he came upon Cozy Glow. He looked her right in the eye and noticed something wasn't right with her. Tirek, although slightly remorseful, still seemed to have no soul. Cozy, on the other hand, seemed like she had a soul, but it seemed like it was screaming out for some kind of help, that it said it didn't have any control over what the body it inhabited did. Chrysalis, however, seemed excited. One look into her eyes told Spike that she was irredeemable without a second thought. Her eyes were empty and souless, void of any life. Like a desert that was frozen over. He felt every inch his spiritual body run cold. Even though she didn't know Spike was there, Chrysalis' icy, heartless look was enough to make both Spike and his parents feel uncomfortable at best. Her facial expression, however, was what put Spike the most at unease. She seemed excited about this. Like she wanted this to happen. The three angels gazed at her as if she was a lone figure on a deserted island. Was this creature even real? Was she really this heartless and demonic? Spike also couldn't help but have a bad feeling that something really bad was going to happen today. That thought was interrupted when he heard the sound of Twilight's voice cut through the tension that had been brung the silence like a knife.

"Hello, Chrysalis, Tirek, Cozy Glow," Twilight said bitterly.

"Hello, Twilight," Chrysalis said, her voice oozing with venom. "Say, where's that little pet dragon of yours? Or was he your boyfriend? I honestly can't remember. Either way, I would've assumed he'd want to come along too."

Everyone except Cozy Glow and Tirek winced slightly at Chrysalis' words, feeling disgusted with her unremorseful attitude. Spike and his parents just felt another wave of shock rush over them. They'd never really known Chrysalis, but, already, she was proving her worth as one of Equestria's worst enemies and nightmares.

"I think you know what happened to him," Celestia said simply.

Chrysalis snickered before Twilight spoke up.

"Listen up, you've all been charged with 1st degree murder. Cozy, since you're a child we cannot charge you with treason. How do you plead?" Twilight said curtly.

"Guilty. No contest," Cozy and Tirek said in unison. The Centaur and filly Pegasus knew it was no point in saying innocent. The chips were stacked too tall against them and a trial would only prolong the ordeal for them.

"Chrysalis, we didn't hear your plea," Luna said.

Everyone turned to face her.

"Guilty. No contest," she answered, letting out an annoyed sigh.

Everyone felt even more disgusted with Chrysalis' attitude. Even though Tirek and Cozy were just as guilty as her, they, at least, looked a tiny bit remorseful at first glance, although they didn't want them to see it. Chrysalis didn't even look like Spike's death affected her in any way. In fact, she seemed happy about it. It was as if she had wanted this to happen all along. Chrysalis looked the perturbed ponies, dragons, griffons, changleing, yak, hippogriff, and Draconequus standing before her.

Spike's parents were starting to go from shocked to angry. The reality of what was going on almost fully sunk in by now and the fact that she was blatantly trying to stsrt something to try and derail this event rather than keeping her mouth shut and getting her punishment over with made them even more angry. Spike just felt sad. He had held out some kind of little hope that Chrysalis and Tirek had some kind of good inside them, but Tirek had silently proved that he didn't and Chrysalis was proving it right now,

"What?" she asked, pretending as if she didn't know why they were all mad at her to begin with. "Why are you all angry?"

"Oh, I don't know," came a voice. "Maybe it's because you're still showing no remorse after killing someone, a kid for that matter."

"Who said that?" Chrysalis growled. "Show yourself, now!"

Chrysalis looked around to see where that voice came from, but eventually Starlight came up to her.

"That was me," Starlight said through clenched teeth.

Spike felt his gut drop when Starlight revealed herself. The feeling that something really bad was going to happen increased ten-fold. He knew the rivalry between these two was about to boil over now and there was nothing he could to prevent Starlight from being pushed over the edge.

Chrysalis' demeanor changed from angry to excited lookihg at the angry visage of her arch-enemy. Although she hated Starlight most of all, she now knew exactly what to say to taunt the already angry Pink Unicorn. An evil grin spread across her face.

"Oh my," Chrysalis mused. "Whatever happened to the Starlight I knew who wanted to reform me? Certainly, out of everyone here, I would've expected you to be the one who extended me a hoof of friendship hoping to lead me down a better path."

"That was before you became a deranged pshycopath hellbent on trying to kill us all," Starlight snapped back. "Had I known that you were going to go and pull a stunt like this, I would've just put you out of your misery right then and there."

"But you didn't," Chrysalis said in a sing-song voice before laughing again. "And, boy, did you pay a price for it. Such a shame too. Although he was a complete nuisance, I must admit that stupid boyfriend of yours, was such a promising soul, so full of life, so ready to take on all the challenges the world had to offer to him. He won't be missed. Ever."

Spike wanted to feel angry, but he was too busy silently praying that Starlight didn't do something she'd regret. One look at Starlight as she glared hatefully at her arch-rival only signaled to Spike that Chrysalis' taunts were really starting to make her angry. She wasn't the only one either.Spike also noticed that Thorax, Ember, and Smolder were also looking like they wanted to punch Chrysalis in the face right now. He noticed Smolder was probably the most angry and was already marching up to confront Chrysalis. Starlight saw Smolder coming up and backed up so the orange dragon could say her piece.

"He was just a kid, you fiend!" she shouted.

Chrysalis just shrugged.

"Ehh, kids grow up to be problems in this world. You, my friend, are no exception. The way I see it, I've made not just this hellhole you call your home, but the entire world, a better place by ridding it of one more flaw."

Spike felt anger starting to boil inside him. Even if he felt bad that Chrysalis couldn't be reformed, she had no right to talk to his lovers, friends, and home like that. He barely had time to grasp those new feelings before Smolder spoke up again.

"He was worth an infinite number of you!" Smolder countered. "He was more sweet, more pure, more loving, and, best of all, he was loved by many. Unlike you."

"Please do us both a favor, you insignificant, little insect, and shut the hell up," Chrysalis said, growing annoyed. "Your insults don't hurt me in any way and they won't bring your boyfriend back."

Spike went from angry to furious.

"How dare you talk to my Smolder like that?" he growled.

He wanted to just go into that cell and grab Chrysalis by the neck and demand she apologize to his girlfriend, as well as his other lovers for the pain and suffering she put them through in the span of 11 days. Unfortunately, the fact that he was a spirit and couldn't cause anyone pain reared its ugly head again. He could only watch as Smolder's face changed from angry to shocked. No one had ever talked to her like that. Before she could think of a comeback, Starlight spoke up again.

"Well, just remember that we're not the ones in the cell," Starlight snarled. "Before I leave here though, however, I just want ask one thing. Was it worth it? Was not being my friend just to try to take Equestria but failing miserably worth all this?"

This was the shot Chrysalis was waiting for, rub Spike's death in everyone's faces a little more and really get under their skin.

"On the contrary, it is actually us who have defeated you," Chysalis smirked. "See, you may have stopped us, but at what cost? We may be defeated, but the fact that we got one of you is more than reward enough for me alone, but now it's even better because 12 of you misguided fools actually thought of him as more than a friend. I was already pleased thinking about how much torture you twits were going through, but hearing that fact made that feeling of happiness indescribable. The icing on the cake of this whole ordeal is, if I remember correctly, he was an orphan. I'm willing to bet money that he's probably already reunited with his parents in the bowels of Tartarus. Now, they can all enjoy rotting down there together. So, in a way, I did him a favor. Now, rather than having no other choice but to consider any of you idiots his family, he gets to be with his true family. It's honestly funny how things work out sometimes. Wouldn't you agree?"

That did it, Spike watched as Starlight became probably the angriest he'd ever seen her. The same could be said for Thorax and Ember. Smolder, on the other hand, looked irate and Spike couldn't blame her. He could only watch as her fists clenched tighter than ever before. Her cheeks turned a darker shade of orange, she bared and gnashed her teeth, letting a somewhat loud growl escape from her throat, and a thin trail of black smoke slowly seeped out of her nostrils. The feeling of something bad happening finally revealed itself to Spike. Even if he hated Chrysalis, the angel Dragon nor his parents wanted to see Spike's lovers and friends hurt or possibly kill her in a fit of blind rage.

"You really think this is FUNNY?!!" Ember shouted.

"Funny, no. Hilarious yes," Chrysalis corrected.

Chrysalis gave herself a mental pat on the back looking at the seething faces of Starlight Glimmer and Smolder, as well as many other creatures in the hallway. A handful of them just stared at her with pure shock. They had, like Starlight, never come across someone as shameless as her and didn't know what to think or say. It had worked, she had said what she wanted to say just to be a brazen, unapologetic jackass. She turned back to face Starlight, who only looked even angrier.

"Something the matter, Starlight?" Chrysalis said, not bothering to hold back another snicker. "You look a little red. Do you have a fever?"

Starlight turned to the Royal Sisters.

"Celestia, Luna," Starlight said through clenched teeth. "Could you kindly hand me the keys to this demon's cell and grant me five minutes alone with her?"

"Is this a private event, Starlight?" Smolder said with a louder growl and the smoke from her nostrils was getting thicker. "Or can anyone join?"

Garble stepped up to hopefully try and calm his boiling sister down. He put a hand on her shoulder before speaking.

"Smolder, come on," he said. "She's not worth-"

Smolder abruptly swatted his hand away, never taking her eyes of Chrysalis, the object of her fury.

"No," she snarled. "This sick, twisted psycho tried to destroy the whole world and our Spike had to pay with his life to save us. Now, she not only has no remorse for what she did, but she has the audacity to make fun of him while he's dead IN FRONT OF US!!!"

Smolder almost screamed out the last four words of her sentence. A few creatures were scared seeing not just Smolder, but Thorax and Ember as well, pushed to the point where they all wanted to fight Chrysalis. Spike felt tears welling up in his eyes looking at the four incensed creatures. Tyson and Kimba also felt scared looking at them. They had never come across anyone as angry as they were. They watched in fear as Smolder continued on.

"Well, I'm sick of it. It's clear any time in jail isn't going to do her or us any good. It's high time Starlight, Ember, Thorax, and I gave this lunatic the punishment she's had coming for a long time," Smolder finished. Her tone had turned from shouting to low and scary.

"I want in on this too," growled Ember as she cracked her knuckles.

"Same here," snarled Thorax.

By now, everyone, except the four seething creatures and Fluttershy, were frozen in fear. Smolder's close friends all stared at her in shock. They had never seen Smolder, or anyone on that matter, this angry before. Neither had Garble. Gallus' knees quivered. He did enjoy pulling a prank or two on Smolder from time to time, as well as Smolder chasing him down and warning him of dire consequences if he ever tried it again, but now, it seemed Smolder was at least twenty times angrier than all the times she was with him from all the pranks he pulled on her combined.

Pharynx looked at his brother with the same shock. He had never seen his brother even slightly angry in his whole life. Ocellus wanted to say something, anything, to calm down the king of her species, but she couldn't think of anything and seeing Thorax so livid scared her half to death. Tears of fear brimmed in her eyes as she looked back and fourth between Thorax's furious expresion and Chrysalis' smug one. She didn't want to see someone who she basically considered her father to hurt someone else out of pure rage, even if they deserved it.

Spike and his parents were also shocked into silence. Spike was hovering, but his parents were standing. Spike looked back at his parents and noticed both of their knees were quivering in fear. They didn't know what to do or say here because they had never been in a situation like this before in their lives.

Chysalis, on the other hand, wasn't phased at all.

"Oh, what? What are you gonna do?" she cackled. "Friendship me to death? Kill me with kindness? Now, that's something I'd like to see you try."

Before the four seething creatures could say another word, Fluttershy stepped inbetween them. She whispered something in Starlight's ear for a few seconds, which seemed to calm the Pink Unicorn down, before doing the same with Smolder, Ember, and Thorax. Spike felt a huge rush of relief wash over him seeing Fluttershy once again being the unofficial peacekeeper and uniter of the harem.

"Good work, Fluttershy," Spike whispered, his tears of fear turning into those of pride. "I'm very proud of you."

Spike watched as the four, formerly irate, creatures stepped away from Chrysalis' cell. Smolder, howeverm wasn't finished with her boyfriend's killer just quite yet.

"I want to make something very, very clear right now," Smolder said with another loud growl. "You're bucking lucky that Fluttershy was here to calm us down or Starlight, Thorax, Ember, and I would've personally made sure that you would not live to see your sentencing. Part of me still does want nothing more than to tear you limb from limb to show you personally what kind of pain we go through every day, as well as the kind of pain you put our Spike through in his last moments of life. Just remember that."

Once Smolder was finished, the cream colored Pegasus turned to face the arrogant, barefaced, disgraced Changeing Queen. Her turquiose eyes vibrating with determination for the third time in less than two weeks. Chrysalis just looked right back at her with the same smirk, but she wasn't aware of what this usually shy pony had to say to her. Spike and his parents also watched with interest.

"What's she gonna say?" Tyson asked.

"Just sit back, watch, and prepare to be amazed," Spike smirked.

"You may have taken Spike's body from us, but there are two things you will never, ever take away from us. The first is his spirit. We all hold a little bit of him inside us. His kindness, generosity, laughter, loyalty, and honesty all live on inside our hearts. The other thing is all the happy memories that we have made with him. We will always have things that will remind us of all the fun things we all did together with him. His love for us, as well as the love we felt for him, is something you would never be able to suck out of us because even one percent of it would overload the system that resides inside your souless body. My pride as being one of his twelve marefriends increases ten-fold with each passing day. We've seen thousands of creatures of all kinds support us and praise Spike. Those who barely even knew him were writing poems and sending letters praising him on a daily basis. I've never seen a single person in the time I've known you ever come out in support of you. I think I'll leave you to think about that as you sit here until your sentencing," Fluttershy said, her tone had shifted to Bold Fluttershy.

Chrysalis' smirk slowly faded. By the time Fluttershy finished her speech, Chrysalis looked at her in shock. At the back of the room, Cozy and Tirek's shock changed to dumbfounded amazement, both their mouths hung slightly open. They had never expected such strong words to come from such a meek, quiet Pegasus. Spike's parents were also amazed. Spike, on the other hand, just grinned. The second he saw Fluttershy walk up to confront Chrysalis, the angel Dragon knew that she had the perfect thing in mind to put the evil creature in her place. Everyone else seemed a little shocked by Fluttershy's change in demeanor as well. Fluttershy looked back at Twilight who began to step forward to say when the villains would be sentenced.

"Since you have all plead guilty no contest, you will not have a trial. Your sentencing date will be scheduled in two weeks time," Twlight said, looking all three of them right in the eye. "This meeting is concluded. I will see you then."

With nothing left to say, Twilight looked back at her friends and other Princesses. They all looked back at her, nodded to each other, and trotted out of the dungeon hallway, leaving one evil-doer shocked into silence and the other two evil-doers in dumbfounded amazement. The three spirits, however, stayed behind. Tyson turned to Spike.

"Wow," he said, stammering for a second. "I did not her to do that."

"Same," Kimba added. "When you said Fluttershy was truly an inspriration for all of Equestria, you weren't kidding."

"That's just Fluttershy for you," Spike smiled. "Sweeter than sugar to the core and always willing to put someone who's acting out of line in her place. I was really, really lucky to have her as one of my girlfriends."

TWO WEEKS LATER

The spirits of Spike and his parents flew over the clouds to the Celestia and Luna's castle. Today was the day that Chrysalis and Tirek would be sentenced for their crimes. Cozy would've been sentenced as well, but there was something that was found out about her that made everyone, especially Spike, reconsider their decision on punishing her. As they were spirits, the three dragons simply went right through the roof of the throne room. There sat, on two chairs on an elevated platform, the Royal Sisters themselves, calmly waiting

They only had to wait no more than 15 seconds for a side door to open to reveal Twilight followed by her friends, her friends' little sisters, the God of Chaos, the Dragon Lord, the Changeling King, the Young SIx, four teenage dragons, and a grey Griffon.

"Hello, Celestia," Twilight said.

"Greetings, Twilight," Celestia responded, giving her former pupil a hug. Spike and his parents smiled at the scene before them.

The warm moment was broken up by a knock at the front door.

"Enter," Celestia called out.

The door opened to reveal ten royal guards forming two lines. Between those two lines stood two creatures shackled and, in Tirek's case, handcuffed. They didn't say a word as the stoic guards led them to the Royal Sisters and the 24 new arrivals. Celestia and Luna glared at the frail Centaur and former Changeling Queen both as they slowly walked up to face them. Spike instantly frowned looking at them, worried that Chrysalis was going to do something that would provoke everyone again. To his surprise, however, they both were looking at the ground and didn't look like they'd be saying anything to taunt the others.

"As you both know, today is the day that you will be sentenced for your crimes. Do you have anything you want to say before we sentence you?" Celestia asked, not letting up on her glare. Neither did Luna.

Neither Tirek or Chrysalis said a word.

"Very well then, we shall proceed," Luna said. She took out a scroll and read what the decided sentence was for both creatures. "For the punishment 1st degree murder, the decided sentence is execution for both of you .Your execution is set from a month from now. Do you have anything you'd like to say for yourselves?"

Chrysalis and Tirek once again remained silent.

"Alright then, this sentencing is concluded. Take them to prison please," Celestia ordered the guards.

"As you wish, Princess Celestia," the guards all said in unison before beckoning to the two prisoners to come with them. They all trotted slowly to the front door, matching the pace of the two convicts. It seemed like forever, but eventually the guards were out the front door. Once the guards were out the door, Spike's harem, Celestia, Luna, the Young Six, Thorax, Ember, Discord, and even Garble and his buddies embraced each other in a giant group hug. For a solid minute, all the 26 creatures did was hug each other and not say a word. The throne room was peacefully quiet as they did so. Finally they broke away. Spike and his parents felt their smiles return to them as they watched the scene before them. All three flew down to join them in the hug. Even if they couldn't see him, Spike was just happy, at this point, to be with them. The trio of angels joined the group hug and watched as Twilight took out a picture and everyone looked at it with a sad smile. The photo was of Spike in the center of it being surrounded and hugged by his whole harem. They were sitting on the couch in the friendship castle and they all were looking at the camera with big smiles. The photo was taken only two days before that fateful battle. Spike smiled warmly at the picture, then to his whole harem. He felt at peace knowing that they were safe and nothing would ever hurt them again.

"Justice was served for Spike today. Thank you, Luna and Celestia," Twilight said wiping away a tear.

"It was nothing," Celestia said, hugging Twilight again.

"Although I can't help but feel a little sorry for Cozy Glow," Thorax said. "Even if she was dispicable, it really is sad that she had to go through all that pain."

"Agreed," Twilight said. "It was unfortunate what she had to go through, and I wish we would've helped her instead of sending her to Tartarus."

Spike winced hearing that, he was glad that they were able to find what they did about Cozy when they did. Otherwise, they would've treated her like the other two evil-doers. He watched as everyone else wince the same way he did. If they were all being honest with themselves, they all felt sorry for what she had to go through and what led up to her becoming evil. At the same time though, they were glad that those other two fiends were off the streets for good. Today was a good day, justice had been served for all of Equestria, more importantly Spike, and there world be no more attacks threatening all of Equestria anymore.

Chapter 11: The Story Cobalt Blitz and...Cozy Glow???

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ONE DAY AFTER VISITING THE CANTERLOT DUNGEONS

A young Unicorn Colt with moderate blue colored fur, a sky blue mane and tail, cyan eyes, and wore a turquoise baseball-style hat and a saddlebag was running to the Friendship Castle as fast as he could. His name was Cobalt Blitz and he was famous for running away from home and making the bad side of Canterlot free of its thugs, getting the nickname "Runaway Ruler". There was one secret, however, that he had never told anyone about when he was living there. That was going to be revealed to Twilight and her friends today.

***

Twilight was getting no luck trying to find any parents or siblings for Cozy Glow. Not even any aunts, uncles, or cousins were showing up in her data base, but her friends and she were about to get the shock of thier lives today. There was a knock at the front door, and the lavender Alicorn trotted over to answer it. She opened it to reveal a Unicorn Colt with moderate blue colored fur, a sky blue mane and tail, cyan eyes. He wore a turquoise baseball-style hat and a brown saddlebag. He was out of breath and could barely speak.

"May I *pant* come in *pant*, please?" He croaked out, sounding like he had a sore throat.

"Uh, sure," Twilight said. She assumed that this colt was another one of her many fans.

"Thank *pant* you," He said, sounding a bit better than before now that he had stopped running.

"Twilight, what's goin' on out there?" came a heavy southern accent.

Cobalt instantly recognized that voice as Applejack's. He was a big fan of all of them and had seen them on several occasions. He was a very smart kid and could recognize anyone by their voice.

"We have a visitor, Applejack. Oh, I almost forgot, what's your name?" Twilight asked.

"Cobalt Blitz," he responded, his voice almost fully restored.

Applejack came into the hallway, followed by Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rarity, Starlight Glimmer, The Cutie Mark Crusaders, Gabby, Smolder, and Garble. When Pinkie saw Cobalt, she immediatly became really excited.

"Ohmygosh! Ohmygosh! Ohmygosh! Girls do you realize who this is?!" She squeaked.

"Uh, no..." Rainbow Dash, confused by her friend's sudden change in demeanor.

"You seriously don't know the story of Cobalt Blitz? The Runaway Ruler?!" Pinkie asked, shocked by the oblivious nature of her friends.

"Well, we've heard of him, but we've never seen him," Rainbow Dash said.

"Well, I'm him," Cobalt sighed. Like many ponies, he wanted to make his mark on the world, but this was not what he wanted to be known as. He was honestly expecting ponies to be mad at, or even shunning, him for pulling a stunt like that. He wasn't expecting for every kid in his class asking for his autograph, nor was he expecting ponies on the street congratulationg him for his efforts, let alone the heroes of Equestria that he stood before today.

"No. Way," Rainbow Dash said. "I can't believe it. Cobalt Blitz is in our castle. I have so many questions to ask. How many ponies did you defeat who dared to stand in your way? How did you manage to get every thug out of Canterlot? What was it like being a runaway?"

"Okay, we're getting off topic here. This is not why I came here," Cobalt said. He opened his saddlebag with his magic, which had mastered very recently, pulled out a photo, and showed it to the ponies.

Everyone's faces were given quite a shock when they saw it. It was a picture of Cobalt Blitz, but it was who he was next to who got everyone's attention. It was Cozy Glow. Cobalt and Cozy were looking at the camera with a big wide smile.

"I believe you know who this is," Cobalt said.

"It's...Cozy, b-but...how?" Starlight stammered, feeling absolute shock come over her.

"Listen, I've never told anyone this, but I was the only one who was the closest to Cozy Glow. She had no family and no friends since she was a foal," Cobalt said. " I've heard that you're trying to find anyone who might be considered family to Cozy. It's best you quit now, please. Trust me, You're going to find absolutely no family members on her. I've tried that myself and I too came up with nothing. If you could get Celestia and Luna to come over here so I can talk to them about Cozy's origins and why she's so crazy, that'd be great."

"Certainly, Cobalt," Twilight said. "Rainbow Dash, can you please go get Celestia and Luna? You're the fastest flyer out of all of us."

"You can count on me, Twi," Rainbow Dash said confidently. "I can get there in ten seconds flat. Okay, that's an exaggertion, but I can get there pretty fast."

With that Rainbow Dash grabbed the photo of Cobalt and Cozy (after asking politely of course), ran out the front door, and flew as fast as she could to Celestia and Luna's castle.

***

Celestia and Luna were calmly sitting on their throne chairs when the front doors suddenly flew open and Rainbow Dash skidded to a stop in front of them.

"Rainbow Dash, what's the rush?" Celestia asked.

"Listen, do either of you know of the "Runaway Ruler"?" Rainbow Dash asked back.

"Yes, what about him?" Luna said.

"He's got pictures of himself and, you're not going to believe this, Cozy Glow!" Rainbow Dash said. She out a picture of Cozy and Cobalt smiling at the camera and showed it to them, both Royal Sisters were shocked. "He's requested a visit from you both specifically. He says that he wants to help us with Cozy's origins so we can finally figure out why Cozy is so psychotic."

Celestia nor Luna didn't need to be told twice. They jumped off their thrones and followed Rainbow Dash out the door.

***

Cobalt had taken a seat in the Living room of the Castle, patiently waiting for Rainbow to return with the Princesses. The other 12 creatures were looking at all the photos from Cobalt's saddlebag he brought along. There were so many pictures of Cozy and him smiling at the camera. There were also pictures of Cozy and Cobalt alone in the shot. No doubt the other was holding the camera. Everyone heard the front door open and in stepped Rainbow Dash, followed by the Royal Sisters. Cobalt jumped off the couch the second he heard the door open and bolted down the hallway as fast as he could. Celestia and Luna were surprised to see a blue unicorn colt barreling to them at full speed. He skidded to a stop in front of them and stayed silent for a few seconds to catch his breath.

"Hello, Princesses. My name is Cobalt Blitz. I have information on why Cozy Glow became the way she was," Cobalt said, his eyes locked onto those of both Royal Sisters'.

"Yes, we've seen the picture Rainbow Dash gave us," Celestia said. She looked up to see Twilight running to the front door also, no doubt to find where Cobalt had run off to.

"Twilight, do you mind if Luna and I talk to Cobalt alone, please?" Celestia asked. "I promise we'll tell you everything he's told us after he's finished."

"Very well," Twilight said. She gave Cobalt one last warm smile, which the colt returned, and trotted back to the living room area.

Cobalt was more than happy to go with the Princesses. At long last, the reasons behind Cozy Glow's insane nature would finally be revealed. The Princesses and colt walked to the throne room and all sat down. Cobalt noticed Spike's throne chair decorated with flowers, lit candles, and a golden plaque. He felt bad staring at it, the thought that Cozy's unstable mind and uncontrolled rage took a life never left his head.

"Alright, Cobalt," Luna said, snapping Cobalt out of his trance. The Princess of the Moon took out a clipboard with several pieces of paper attatched to it. "Tell us everything you know, don't miss any detail."

The second Luna finished her sentence, Cobalt started talking, although slowly. He told them how he had run away from home because at the time he was always getting into arguments with his parents and he claimed he was "sick of his parents setting up playdates for him with kids he shared absolutely nothing in common with" and believed his parents didn't "understand him". He knew his parents would be both in bed by 10:30 P.M. and planned to be ready to leave home by 11:15 P.M.

Using his allowance that he managed to save up over two years and change that he managed to scrounge off the street dropped by other ponies, he bought a tent, enough food and drinks to last him six months, a sleeping bag, two toothbrushes, two tubes of toothpaste, a comb, 10 dozen rolls of toilet paper, and shampoo and body wash so he could wash in the river. It wasn't easy, but he managed to stuff all his survival supplies under his bed and in the very back of his closet. He was able to obtain all these materials because he enjoyed watching shows about survival expeditions. He gained all the knowledge of the great outdoors and the dangers that came with it.

Tonight would be the night he put all of his knowledge and materials to the test. Cobalt pretended to fall asleep that night and it was an agonizing two-and-three-quarters-of-an-hour wait for his digital alarm clock to finally signal when he could hit the road. The second the clock hit 11:15 P.M. that night, Cobalt grabbed a giant duffel bag, that he had also had stashed under his bed, carefully put all his supplies inside of it, and was out the door like a rocket, although quietly because he didn't want to risk waking his parents up. The second he was out the door and was all alone in the middle of the night, he felt calm and at ease. The night was quiet, the air was cool and crisp, and the moon seemed to stare down upon him. His only sighting of any life was an owl that greeted him with a friendly "Hoo". Cobalt gave it a friendly wave back.

The runaway survivalist-wannabe had already found a perfect place in mind, Canterlot. He always wanted to go there, but his family and he never had time to go there. He lived about 15 miles outside the big city, but fortunately, he was right next to a train track that lead right into the heart of it. He trekked no more than a mile on hoof before a slow moving frieght train approched him. He jumped in a nearby bush to avoid the conductors spotting him, before noticing one of the boxcars had a broken lock as it approched him. With no time to spare, he ran as fast as he could from his bush, jumped onto the boxcar, opened the door, and climbed inside. He was able to open a crate and stuff both himself and his duffel bag inside. Within an hour, the train arrived at the final station. Cobalt stayed inside his crate until he was transported to a warehouse right next to the final station. Then he snuck out with his supplies like a camoflage soldier. By now, it was almost 6:00 in the morning and fatigue was finally catching up with Cobalt. He looked for a place to set up his tent and catch a few hours of sleep.

Then he came across a bench in a nearby park covered with newspaper. He would've paid it no attention if there wasn't a strand of sky blue mane sticking out of it. He walked over to it and, very catiously, pulled the newspapers back. Instantly, his fatigue faded. There laid a Pegasus the same age as him. She has pink fur, scarlet eyes, and it seemed she was getting sick, no doubt from the elements. Cobalt was shocked at what he saw and just couldn't leave her behind to suffer. He grabbed the unwell Filly, hoisted her up on his back, and continued on. Many were surprised to see such a small colt carry so much weight. Although most didn't know it, Cobalt was actually a very strong and tough kid who stood up for anyone who was bullied. He had a black belt in karate and he was captain of the wrestling team. He'd sometimes be seen wrestling an older, meaner kid to the ground if he found them trying to intimidate or physically harm other kids who were younger and meeker.

Cobalt managed to find a secluded place with an herb bush at the top of a hill that overlooked Canterlot. The hill had a steep drop-off and the duo had a charming view of the sunset. He set his tent up, unrolled his sleeping bag, and placed the sick Cozy Glow inside. Then he went over to the herb bush, plucked off a few branches, and began using his knowledge from his survivalist shows to whip up a cure to prevent his new friend from getting worse. That night, Cobalt slipped into the sleeping bag with Cozy and held her tight to keep her warm. Within two days, Cozy Glow was feeling well enough to talk. When Cobalt asked about where she came from, Cozy claimed that she didn't have a home or family and had been living on the streets since she was a foal. She also said that she had no clue who her parents even were. Cobalt felt absolutely horrible for her. This was a child who had no family, grew up on the street, and had no idea who her parents even were. It was a miracle to Cobalt that she was even here today.

By day five, Cozy was fully well again. She thanked Cobalt for what he did to make her feel better and was about to head back down the hill, but Cobalt stopped her. He absolutely refused to see this poor filly go all the way back down to those horrid streets where she had to fend for herself 24/7. He told her after all that she had gone through, seeing her back on the streets where she could very well get hurt again was the last thing he wanted. It wasn't just fear for Cozy's safety that Cobalt had on his mind, he also felt a personal connection with her as well. Cozy felt so touched. No one had ever cared this much about her before.

Then one day while the two new friends were on a walk, they both noticed a masked pony walking into a convenience store. Both kids immediatly realized that from the way that pony acted, he was most likely going to rob the store. Cobalt and Cozy immediately followed the pony into the store and sure enough their suspiscions were confirmed and the pony aimed a gun at the clerk and demanded all the cash in the register. Cobalt nor Cozy could stand by and watch as the clerk nervously dropped the bits into the robber's sack. The duo ran inside and Cobalt taunted the robber into chasing him while Cozy sneakily flew overhead and called the police. By the time the Police arrived, Cobalt had pinned the robber to the ground and he actually begged the cops to take him away claiming that Cobalt was "crazy". The Police didn't need to be told twice, they handcuffed him and took him to to the Police Station. The media caught wind of Cozy and Cobalt's heroic actions and they were swarmed with attention. Cozy and Cobalt couldn't care less about the media attention, they were just happy with their heroic deed. They would go on to prevent three crimes for back-to-back-to-back days. Two were robberies, the third was a murder attempt. Other bad guys began to catch on to the heroic duo's reputation. Most didn't have the guts to hurt them. They were kids after all. Seven of them, however, believed that they could easily beat in a fight Cozy and Cobalt if they all fought the duo together. The heptad were in for an unpleasant surprise when they met them, fortunately. Cozy had been taught fighting moves from Cobalt and Cobalt himself gave a personal demonstration of his favorite wrestling takedown moves on their would-be assailants. Within 15 minutes, Cobalt and Cozy had take down every one of their foes. The cops arrived just as Cozy knocked out the last foe standing. They were very surprised because they had been called by someone fearing for Cozy and Cobalt's safety. Yet, here they were taking down their assailants single-handedly. All seven, like the first robber, cried and begged the cops to take them to jail. Cozy and Cobalt's reputation once again became stronger and now all criminals fully knew that it was best not to cross them ever.

For three months, the Pegasus and Unicorn were happy as can be with each other, fighting off the bad guys and gals and living like a King and Queen in the heart of Canterlot. That was until one fateful night when they were out stargazing at the top of the hill. The two had already set up their tent and had planned to go to bed in an hour. That's when they saw Cobalt's parents leading a group of police officers to them. Cobalt was later informed that an "anonymous source" tipped off the cops to their cops to their location. Cozy had already figured it out from the moment she saw the cops. They would've taken Cobalt back without a fight had an incensed Cozy Glow not interfered. During the struggle, Cozy tried to tackle an Officer, he shook her off, and she slid off the edge of the hill, bumping her head hard on the way down. There was a rock with a flat surface about halfway down and Cozy, by some miracle, landed on that rock. She was unconscious, but somehow still alive.

The police radioed to get a helicopter to get Cozy out of there, but they used the word "recovered". When Cobalt heard that, he finally broke down and cried. His life long friend was dead...or so they thought. When the Police arrived a few hours later to get Cozy off the cliffside, they couldn't find her anywhere, meaning she was still alive. Cobalt was overjoyed to find out his friend wasn't dead, but was worried that she was lost and could be anywhere in Equestria. Throughout the next couple of months, ponies reported sightings of Cozy all throughout Equestria, but were unable to get a clear picture to confirm the cops' suspiscions. No one dared confronting and chasing her as that might've short circuited Cozy's temper.

Somewhere along the line, Cozy met Tirek and he convinced her to help him conquer Equestria. It was very likely that the hit to the head made Cozy Glow unable to control her rage, unpredictable, and very, very unstable. Tirek must've figured that out and exploited that to make her his minion.

As for Cobalt, after reuniting with his parents, they all underwent counseling together, and he has since rebuilt the bridge with them both.

Celestia and Luna were, to put it very lightly, shocked by what Cobalt Blitz had told them. Here was a boy who was able to melt Cozy's walls and become close to her and in the span of two minutes, it all fell apart.

"Look I know Cozy's probably going away for life because of this, but I just wanted to get that off my chest before she gets sentenced," Cobalt said.

"Well, thank you for sharing your story, Cobalt. I know that was hard for you to talk about," Celestia responded, placing a hoof on his shoulder.

"No, I wanted to tell you sooner," Cobalt replied. "I was planning to pay you a visit when I heard Cozy was imprisoned in Tartarus, but I misplaced my photos and I feared you wouldn't believe me without them. By the time I did find them, I got word Cozy had mysteriously vanised from Tartarus. I never heard her name again until I saw what happened during that battle on the news and I knew this was my last chance."

Just then, two royal guards came into the room, followed by the Element Bearers and Starlight.

They both took a bow, "Your highness."

"Greetings," Princess Celestia repiled. "What can I do for the two of you?"

"It's Cozy Glow," one guard said. "It seems she's going back and forth between emotions. She's crying one minute and the next she's laughing manically."

"She's also saying something about it "teaching you a lesson about taking away her best friend in the whole world"," the other guard added.

Cobalt felt his gut drop. It was at this point he knew that Cozy had finally passed the point of no return. He just looked at the guard in shock before it turned into one of sadness. Celestia and Luna felt sorry for the young colt. Spike's harem and Garble also took notice of Cobalt's demeanor and they too felt sorry for the little guy.

"Alright, thank you for the information," Luna said. "We will head to the Canterlot dungeons shortly."

"Sure thing, your highness," the guards replied and took another bow.

Celestia and Luna had a feeling that this was coming. Even when Cozy seemed like a sweet and innocent filly, some ponies couldn't help but get a small vibe that something was off inside her mind.

Celestia and Luna thanked the guards for the new information and planed a visit for the dungeons tomorrow. They offered to take Cobalt along and he accepted the invitation in a heartbeat. He'd do anything to see his best friend one last time and have at least have some kind of closure.

Little did they know they were in for another unpleasant revelation when they next saw Tirek, Chrysalis, and the now finally snapped Cozy Glow.

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

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MEANWHILE IN THE CANTERLOT DUNGEONS

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

THE NEXT DAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FOUR DAYS LATER

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

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

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

LATER THAT DAY

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

"You have visitors, dear," she said.

"Send them up, please," Cobalt responded.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cozy's sadness was replaced with surprise.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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