Luna the Matchmaker
Chapter 8 "Paper Hearts."
By Steven Little
My Little Pony is © Hasbro
The heart of a pony is a fragile yet resilient thing.
At first glance it can seem resolute and strong,
The next, as brittle and delicate as that first perfect snow flake of winter.
The heart of a pony is a wonderful thing that can feel a love so strong,
A love so pure it burns with a radiance that rivals the sun.
When in doubt, it is capable of feeling such pain.
But the pain of the heart is not akin to the pain of the body.
When the heart aches, it rips at the soul.
The heart of a pony is a fragile yet resilient thing,
Whether it is strong or fragile,
Whether it is determined or defeated,
Their hearts are paper hearts.
And while they may have become tattered with time,
And faded and wilted from loss,
They remain, ready and waiting for that one perfect love
To remind them what life and love were meant for.
The heart of a pony is a fragile yet resilient thing.
"Are you ready Dinky?"
"You bet Doctor." She responded.
"You know what to do?" He asked.
"Uh huh. You're gonna' ask mom to marry you then I open the box and you give her the bracelet."
The Doctor knelt down and looked Dinky in the eyes. "Dinky dear, are you sure you're okay with this? I mean, me wanting to marry your mother because I understand if you don't."
"Of course I am. Doctor, my mom loves you. She's good at hiding it but every time you go away on one of your solo trips she's sad. I found her crying in her room once holding a picture of you. She was afraid you'd never come back. Every time you go away, she's afraid you'll never return. So am I. That's why we always want to go with you." The teenaged mare told him. "I don't know who my real dad is, mom won't tell me but I don't care anymore. You've lived with me and mom for almost ten years and you've always been good to both of us."
"Dinky, I lived in your back yard inside the Tardis." He argued.
"I'm not dumb Doctor, I know you've spent the night with mom."
"Dinky, I would never, ever call you dumb. You're brilliant
"None of that really matters right now." She said, interrupting him. "Please, let me get through this. Mom loves you and she deserves to be happy. I love you too; you've been more of a dad to me than anypony I've ever known. You even helped me get through my physics of magic class." She said, hugging him.
The chestnut colored Stallion returned her hug. "Thank you Dinky, you have no idea what that means to me." He said, drying the few tears that had started to roll down her cheek. "Are you ready to do this then?"
"Sure Doc." She said with a smile.
"Okay, here goes nothing." The Doctor took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Ditzy, could you come down here for a moment?"
The gray mare walked down the stairs of her small home, into the front room. The home was small but large enough for her needs. It was never overly dirty or exceptionally clean. It was comfortable and felt lived in. She thought it odd to find the Doctor and her daughter sitting in the middle of the living room but shook it off. "What can I do for you Doctor?"
"Well Ditzy, uhm, It's like this. We're both immortal now. Sort of anyway, and I've been thinking quite a lot about this recently and was wondering, I mean I wanted to ask you." The Doctor was stammering unexpectedly. "Would you be my wife?"
Dinky lifted the top off the box she was holding and revealed the gold bracelet set with a stunning light blue gem in the shape of an hourglass. "Taa, daa!"
Ditzy stared at the bracelet, completely speechless. She watched the light play off the surface of jewelry as a wave of memories came flooding back to her. When next she spoke, her typical bubbly personality had drained from her voice. "Dinky, muffin, could you put down the box and go to your room? I need to talk to the Doctor alone for a moment."
Dinky had never heard her mother talk that way before and so did as she was asked. "Is everything alright Ditzy?" The Doctor asked.
Ditzy looked into the Doctors bright blue eyes. "Why, why would you want me? I'm not pretty, I'm not smart, and I'm always messing things up." Ditzy began to softly cry.
"Ditzy, I love you!"
"I've heard the words before." She said trying to stop her tears. "I love you. I need you; I want to be with you forever and ever. Only a few months later those words turned into, I can't marry you, I'm sorry; I'm too young to be a father."
"This is about Dinky's father isn't it? You're parents warned me this might happen."
"What do my mom and dad have to do with this?" She asked through her tears.
"It's an old custom to ask a mare's parents for permission to wed their daughter. They gave their blessing enthusiastically but they warned me how you might react." The Doctor hugged the gray Pegasus mare tightly. "Ditzy, they told me everything. They told me how you had been used and betrayed. Darling, please believe me when I say that you are the smartest, prettiest, bravest, most dedicated mare I've ever known and I love you with all my hearts. To prove that I'll never ever leave you I got you another present." The Doctor pulled out a box from behind the sofa. This box had a large red button on top and no other distinguishing characteristics.
"This looks like the button from the TARDIS you told me to never ever push."
"That's because it is. I'm going to leave the choice up to you Ditzy. If you want me to stay here with you; if you want me to be your husband; if you want to be a father to Dinky, then push the button. However, if you don't want any of that, don't push the button. The choice is yours. I won't force you to do anything you don't want."
Ditzy pounced on the Doctor, smothering him with kisses and tears. At the same time she pushed the large red button with her back left hoof. Dinky ran from the stairs where she had been listing and cannonballed into Ditzy and the Doctor. "Does this mean the Doctor is going to be my new dad?"
"Yes muffin, he's going to be your new daddy." A powerful explosion forced Dinky and Ditzy to cling to the Doctor in fright. "What was that?" The two grayish mares asked together.
"That was the TARDIS going away. I'm going to be here forever and I hope you'll let me be here with you Ditzy." The gray pegasus smiled and nodded her head. The Doctor reached over and took the bracelet from the box and affixed it on Ditzy's left front leg, just above her hoof. New tears of joy poured down Ditzy's cheeks.
The moment was destroyed when two alicorn mares came bursting through the front door. "Doctor, Ditzy are you two okay? We saw the TARDIS explode and feared you may have been in it." Luna said concerned.
"No, no, we're alright. I was just making a promise to my fiancée." The Doctor explained.
"Fiancée?" Twilight asked.
Ditzy had gotten control of her tears and held up her hoof displaying the bracelet. "The Doctor and I are getting married. Isn't it so exciting?"
Luna and Twilight hugged the gray pegasus mare. "We're so happy for you." Luna said.
"So, what happened to that blue box thingy?" Twilight asked. The Doctor related the incident to the royal couple.
"You know Doctor, you can be very melodramatic." Luna said.
"So I've been told." He responded.
"You didn't have to destroy the TARDI for me." Ditzy said, hugging him.
"Oh, I didn't destroy it. You remember what I told you about the TARDIS? Even if I was able to destroy it, its destruction would take out half this sector of space time with it. No, I sent it home back to Gallifrey or rather, what's left of it. The explosion must have been a by-product of a quantum tear in the
Ditzy place a hoof over his mouth to interrupt him. "Dear, you're babbling again."
"Either way, since I'm not much of a Time Lord anymore without the TARDIS, please call me, uhm, hmm." The stallion had to think for a moment. "You can't use my given name since it's almost unpronounceable as it is; oh I know, you can call me Julian; I always like that name."
"I thought you said your name was Doctor." Ditzy said.
"Well yes and no, but we're sworn not to reveal our real name to anyone as a matter of policy. Keeps the time line clean and all that." He said, hoping she wouldn't pry further.
"So you're staying in Ponyville for good?" Twilight questioned him.
Julian looked into Ditzy's golden eyes. "Why in Equestria would I want to be anywhere else?" Ditzy nuzzled against his neck.
"That's so sweet." Luna said. "I just had a wonderful idea. You're getting married and with the exception of Rarity and Spike, the rest of us had the same idea. Why don't you coordinate with Rarity, Pinky, and the others, and plan a mass wedding for all of us?"
"What a splendid idea. What do you think my dear?" Julian asked.
"That would be so much fun. I definitely think we should do it." Ditzy said bouncing up and down.
"Luna and I will be in Canterlot for a while. Have Spike keep us informed of the preparations. I'm sure whatever Pinky and Rarity come up with will be special and memorable." Twilight told her.
"Speaking of Canterlot, if we don't get going soon, we'll have to fly all the way so we can make it before nightfall." Luna informed her mate.
"Alright. So long you three, we'll get together again soon." Twilight and Luna waved goodbye to the newly engaged couple as they walked out the door and onto the path.
The two ponies walked down the path outside the mailbox shaped home. "Do you think they can handle a flight?" Luna asked Twilight
"I'm sure it wouldn't hurt. I'll fly behind you to make sure they don't wiggle out of their bags." The two alicorns stretched and spread their wings; their primary feathers began to glow as the light breeze blew beneath them. With a powerful downward stroke, they were propelled into the air. Luna led the way to Canterlot while Twilight stayed back a bit watching their foals. At first they enjoyed the wind blowing through their manes but soon snuggled down in their bags and disappeared from view.
The sun was had started to set when they finally made it to the palace in Canterlot. "Twilight, why don't you take Dawn and Dusk inside while I raise the moon. It shouldn't take me long, I'll catch up to you inside." Luna used her magic to switch Twilight's saddlebags with her own containing the foals.
Twilight gave her lover a soft kiss. "Don't be long." The lavender alicorn trotted up to the main entrance of the palace and addressed one of the two door guards. "Twilight Sparkle to see Princess Celestia."
The two guards saluted smartly. The guard closest to Twilight stepped forward. "The Princess awaits you presently in her private dining room, Mrs. Sparkle." He said.
"Would you like us to attend to your bags?" The other guard asked.
As the guard approached, two grumpy foal heads popped up from the bags. "No thank you, I'll manage them." Twilight said smiling. Walking through the Palace, she noticed how much things had stayed the same. Nothing had changed since the last time she was there. Heading toward Celestia's private dining room, Luna trotted up next to her. "That didn't take long." The former unicorn said.
"Nothing fancy tonight. I'm a little tired." Luna said.
"Hopefully not too tired." Twilight said, smiling as they entered the dining room. They noticed that dinner had been set out for them. Princess Celestia waited for them just inside the door.
"Welcome, you both must be tired from your journey. Please sit and have something to eat." She said in her usual graceful manor.
Twilight bowed at her teacher's hooves. "Thank you Princess and we apologize for calling on you at such a late hour."
The Princess of the Sun knelt down next to her. "Twilight, stand up. You don't need to bow to me anymore, and please address me as either sister or Celestia."
Twilight had a confused look on her face. "I don't understand."
Luna laughed in spite of herself. "Oh Tia, stop teasing her. She doesn't know how to sense your mental presence yet. The younger Princess said. "Twilight, she knows we're engaged."
"I'm sorry Twilight. I must confess that I've looked in on you two whenever I had a free moment. I'm very happy for both of you and I also know about the particular issue you two are having with Spike and Rarity. I feel very sorry for them, they've been through so much already I feel I should do something to help."
"Any help you have would be gratefully accepted." Twilight said.
"There was a spell written long ago by Equestria first Minister of Justice. It's on the table in front of you." Twilight used her magic to place the saddlebags containing the foals on the ground next to Luna. Carefully opening the ancient scroll, Twilight began to read as she ate the salad in front of her.
"Celestia, no. You know how I felt about Desmond. That pony had some serious issues." Luna said upset.
"Desmond Blackhoof was a loyal member of the court. He did everything he could to anticipate every conceivable law that might be needed to keep order in Equestria." Celestia countered.
Twilight left the table and walked over to where the foals were rolling around on the floor around Luna. Using her magic, she gathered them up and brought them to her for feeding. She began to feed the foals as she lay between Luna and Celestia. "That was an execution spell I just read wasn't it?"
"Yes Twilight, that is exactly what it was." Luna said. "There's a reason that thing has been locked up in the vault. I wanted to burn it as soon as I found out about it."
"As did I sister but given recent events I think Twilight might be able to alter the spell to suit our needs. Were you able to understand how the spell works?" Celestia asked her.
"I believe so. At first I thought the spell drained away a pony's life force but as I studied it a bit more I realized that the spell actually accelerates the pony's natural ageing process. Any pony inflicted by this spell could go from a foal to an elderly pony in a matter of days. Thankfully, the pony would not be conscious for any of it. I think I can control how much the subject can be aged but it will require a bit more than what's here. That presents a problem."
"What problem?" Luna asked.
"Well there are a few. First Spike would have to be protected while the spell is doing its work. Any injury sustained during the process could have unpredictable side effects. Secondly, we'll need gems and plenty of them. Spike can subsist on the same food we eat but he regularly needs to replenish the nutrients and minerals his dragon body needs. This spell is going to tax his little body greatly. He'll need a lot of those gems to maintain his mineral levels while the spell ages him."
"That's not a problem at all." Celestia informed her. "We always keep a good supply of gems here at the palace for the various craft schools and the occasional visiting Dragon dignitary."
"Was there any other issues dear?" Luna asked her.
"No, those were the only real issues." She said. "Do you have some paper and a quill? I promised Spike I'd write him as soon as we came up with something." Celestia floated over a quill and paper to Twilight.
The twins had finished eating and were rolling around on the floor. Dusk had grabbed Dawn's ear and was chewing on her head. "Dusk, stop that please. Your sister's head is not for eating." Luna said picking up her son. Twilight wrapped up her letter and rolled it up before sealing it.
"Could you send this to Spike, Celestia?" Twilight asked as she picked up her daughter. "Poor Dawn, was your brother chewing on your head?"
Celestia sent the scroll and sat there watching Luna and Twilight with their children. "Would you like to hold them?" Twilight asked her.
"Yes, if that's alright." Celestia said with a smile.
"Of course it is Tia." Luna said as the two foals floated over to her. Lying down, Celestia cradled the twins in her forelegs.
"There so darling." She said. "I must say though. It seems that little Dawn has taken after your mother Twilight. I can see a lot of her in this little filly."
Twilight gasped in shock. "Oh my goodness!"
"What's the matter dear?" Luna asked concerned.
"My parents don't know that their grandparents. I've been so busy with everything I haven't had time to write to them."
"Really; you couldn't fine time to write to your parents in eleven months?" Luna asked, eyeing her mate suspiciously. "Twilight, do they even know that we're together?"
"Uhm, no." She said, her head hanging down. "I haven't written to them since we've been together. I didn't know what to tell them."
"It's a good thing they've been writing me." Celestia said. "They've been concerned about your silence. I told them you were working on something very important so they wouldn't worry."
Luna yawned. "It's late, we'll go see them in town tomorrow."
"What?!" Twilight shouted in surprise. "Don't I get any say in this?"
"Twilight, they have a right to know that they have grandfoals. You had your chance to tell them your way and besides, I'd like to get to know future in-laws a little better. You do plan on inviting them to our wedding don't you?" Luna asked. Celestia tried to contain her chuckle. "What?"
"I can see it now. You and Twilight knock on the door. When her parents answer the door Twilight says, Hi mom and dad. I know we haven't talked in a while but I just came by to say, you're grandparents now to my twins and Princess Luna sired them. We're getting married and it'd be great if you were there." Celestia unceremoniously laughed, rolling on the floor with the twins still huddled next to her. They were giggling cutely along with her.
Luna and Twilight laughed. "I guess it does sound funny but Luna's right, they are my parents and they deserve to know. I don't know how I'm going to explain the wings though."
"Darling, from everything you've told me, your parents love you very much and I'm sure they will accept you no matter what."
Twilight yawned. "I'm sure you're right but for now, I could use some sleep."
"Sister, is my room still made up?" Luna asked.
"Of course. It's just as you left it."
"Thank you, in that case I think Twilight and I are going to turn in for the night. I'm sure the twins could use some sleep as well." Luna said as she gathered up the foals.
"Yes, the day has been trying and I must admit I'm more than a little tired. You two go get some sleep. I'll see you in the morning after I've raised the sun."
Luna and Twilight walked to Luna's old bedchamber. Opening the door they found the room just as Luna had left it. A large bed stood towards the back of the room up a small flight of stairs. Behind that was a double door leading out to a balcony. In an alcove to the right of the bed was a large bassinette that Luna assumed Celestia had put there. Around the room, candles lit nearly every corner. The gentle flickering light gave the whole room a romantic feel. "Celestia really knows how to set the mood, doesn't she?" Luna asked.
Twilight set the twins in the bassinette and slowly strutted over to the bed. She laid herself out across the silk sheets and gazed at Luna with a sultry look in her eyes. "Coming to bed love?"
Spike had gotten up from bed to use the bathroom. Both he and Rarity had gone to bed early after the taxing day they had. Rarity tried to be intimate with him but like so many nights before, it just wasn't working. After using the facilities Spike turned out the light and headed back to the bedroom. Opening the door, he could hear Rarity crying in her sleep. The sound crushed his little dragon heart. Spike felt his stomach muscles clench up and let out an involuntary burst of flame. A message scroll appeared and dropped by his feet. Carefully unrolling the scroll Spike read it to himself.
The Princesses and I have found a way to age you to a point where, relations, with Rarity would be possible. Now before you get your hopes up, there is an extreme possibility of danger and maybe even death. I want you to talk to Rarity before you decide anything. This is something you both need to talk about. Please respond soon with your decision.
Always your loving sister,
Spike couldn't believe what he just read. Was it possible Twilight found a way to help him? 'If there was anyone who could help, it would be Twilight.' Spike thought to himself.
Slowly creeping back into the bedroom, he stroked Rarity's mane and kissed her lightly on the neck. "I love you so very much Rarity but I have to do this, for us and for our family." Spike ran from the room, tears streaming from his emerald eyes. As he ran through the apartment, unbeknownst to him, he dropped the letter and failed to see it roll under Sweetie Belle's door.
Spike ran south of town till he found a particular cloud house hovering in the air. "Rainbow Dash! Rainbow Dash! Oh please wake up, it's really important!" He shouted up at floating house.
Rainbow Dash poked her head out of the window. Her mane was more tussled than it usually was. Soarin was next to her looking down at the little dragon. "Spike, whatever it is it'd better be good for bothering us right now."
"I need your help Rainbow. There's an emergency at the palace and I need to get there right now."
Rainbow Dash and Soarin flew down and landed in front of him. "What's going on Spike?" Soarin asked.
"I don't know, Twilight sent a letter to me saying that I need to get to Canterlot Castle as soon as possible. Rainbow, you're the fastest pegasus in Equestria. I figured if anyone could get me there fast it'd be you."
"You got it Spike. I can get you there in an hour or less." Rainbow kissed Soarin on the cheek. "You wait up, I'll be back in no time at all. Hop on Spike, let's get you to the palace." Spike jumped on Dash's back and they took off into the air.
Rainbow Dash had not been joking. In just under an hour they had arrived in Canterlot "Thanks Rainbow Dash. I'll go and uh, see what the emergency is. You go ahead back home. I'll send you a message if we need you."
"Uh, okay Spike, if you're sure."
"I'm sure. Talk to you later Dash." Spike ran toward the palace.
At the entrance to Celestia's castle, the young dragon hesitated. 'It's really late, I don't want to wake anyone.' He thought. Spike walked around for a while but he had a certain place in mind. He traveled past the shops and pavilions noticing Rarity's recent creations in a shop window. He sighed and continued walking until he reached a particular alfresco restaurant. Rarity's favorite place to eat in Canterlot. Spike continued down the road until he found himself in one of the many open squares in Canterlot but unlike the others, this one had a special meaning. 'This is where we danced together. I still remember it. It was like we were the only ponies there.' He thought to himself. 'Ponies, that's right. The last time I was here, I was a pony, I was happy. Now I'm a dragon again and I can't stand it.'
Spike crossed the square and kept walking until he found a secluded grassy spot shaded by a single tree, a small stream running alongside it. 'This is where we made love for the first and only time.' He mused. The young dragon curled up on the grass and fell asleep, trying to relive one of the happiest memories of his life.
Luna reluctantly dragged herself out of bed. Walking out to the balcony, she could see her sister's sun starting to rise in the east. Exercising her power as the Lunar Princess, she exerted her influence and lowered the moon. Looking out over the new day, she noticed a small purple bundle on the grass out at the edge of the royal estate. Stretching out her wings, she took off from the balcony. Silently she landed next to the stream she looked down at the dejected purple bundle curled up next to the tree. "Oh Spike, why do you do this to yourself?"
Luna used her magic to place Spike on her back. He moved slightly and mumbled in his sleep. "Just a few more minutes Rarity. Twilight had me up late re-shelving books." Luna smiled slightly as he began to snore softly again. Carefully, she flew into the air and back to her bedchamber. Walking over toward the bed, she gently nudged Twilight with her hoof.
Twilight rolled over. "Good morning love. Did you sleep well?"
"Yes, very well in fact. But when I lowered the moon this morning, I found something." Luna turned to her side revealing the sleeping dragon on her back.
The little dragon stirred and looked at an upset Twilight. In his shock he fell backward off of Luna's back. "Spike, what are you doing here?" Twilight asked.
"Sorry Twilight, I got your letter last night and I was so excited that I had to come as fast as I could. It was still late and I didn't want to wake anyone up so I found a quiet place and fell asleep."
"Did you and Rarity talk about my letter?" She asked.
"Of course we did. I wouldn't be here if we didn't." He said trying to hide his lie behind a false smile.
Sweetie Belle yawned and stretched in her bed. 'Yesterday was great.' She thought. 'I got Rarity to admit she's my mom, Spike is my new daddy, and after talking to Ditzy; Spike and Rarity decided to get married along with everyone else. It's going to be such a huge celebration!' Sweetie Belle was wearing a smile she had not worn in a long time. Walking toward her door to get some breakfast, she noticed a scroll on the floor. She picked it up and began to read it, assuming it was for her. Walking out into the front room she looked for her daddy but he was nowhere to be found. Running into their bedroom, she found Rarity crying in bed, another note crumpled on the floor.
"Mom, where's daddy?" She asked.
"He's not here sweetie; he may not come back." Rarity broke down into tears again. Sweetie Belle hugged her mother tightly.
"I found this note from Twilight by my door. It says they found a way to make him older but it's very dangerous."
"I know dear, this other letter just arrived." She said, picking up the crumpled paper from the floor. Sweetie Belle flattened it out and read.
"My Dearest Love,
I got a letter from Twilight and Luna last night telling me they had found a way to make me older. I'm sorry that I left without talking to you but I know you, you would have found a way to talk me out of it. I guess by now you must hate me and to be honest, I don't blame you. You've suffered the ridicule and insults as much as I have and I hate myself for not being able to shield you from it.
I know it sounds like I'm doing this for selfish reasons but the truth is, I am a burden on you and the children. You deserve better, you all do. The children ought to have a father they can be proud of. You deserve to be with someone who doesn't make you cry at night. Yes, I've heard you. When you think I'm asleep, I hear the tears come almost every night. Every tear that falls from your beautiful eyes is like a dagger through my heart. It kills me every night to hear you cry and so I'm going to do whatever it takes to dry your tears.
Do not blame Twilight or Luna. This is not their doing. They offered to find something, anything that would help and I'm accepting. Dearest, you know I would do anything for you but there are some things I have to do that I'm afraid you wouldn't understand. I gave up being a pony for you because I love you and I wanted to be there for you as long as I could. Because of Discords meddling, things are different now. I don't have to worry about out living you, Sweetie Belle, or Garnet. I have a chance to become the dragon I was meant to be, and the mate you deserve.
Rarity, I love you and our children very much but I cannot be a real father to them or a husband to you if I am destined to remain an eternal child. I hope you will think better of me should I
When I return.
Sweetie Bell dropped the letter, tears streaming down her once happy face. She hugged her mother more tightly than she ever had before. "Don't worry mom, I'll bring daddy home to us; I promise." Picking up the letters, she kissed her mother's cheek then ran to her room. Grabbing her crusader bandana and her badge of office given to her by Luna, she ran out the door of the boutique and into the road.
Crossing the bridge into town, Sweetie Belle headed northeast toward the White Tail Woods and Canterlot. High above her Rainbow Dash was flying with Soarin, stretching their wings after sleeping in that morning. They both spotted the young unicorn filly running through the woods by herself as if something was chasing her.
Swooping down, they stood in front of her on the road. "What's up Belle, what are you doing out here alone?" Soarin asked her as she came skidding to a halt.
"I'm trying to catch of with Spike, it's very important I reach him." She informed them, almost out of breath.
"You're never going to catch him like that, I flew him up to Canterlot last night." Rainbow Dash informed her.
"You what?!" The teenaged unicorn shouted.
"Yeah, he came by the house last night, said there was an emergency in Canterlot and Twilight needed him up there right away." Rainbow told her.
"What's going on Belle?" Soarin asked. Sweetie Belle pulled out Spike's letter and held it out for Rainbow and Soarin to read.
The two pegasi scanned the letter. The anger in Rainbow's eyes burned hotly. "That lying no good
liar! Hop on Belle I'm gonna' take you up there and we're both gonna' kick his tail. Soarin, you go get the boys and get to the palace as fast as you can. Something tells me that Spike's only going to listen to reason from another guy."
"You got it babe. I'll start at Fluttershy's place. Big Mac is not going to like this." Soarin jumped into the air and sped off West to the yellow pegasus's cottage. At the same time, Rainbow Dash flew off toward Canterlot.
Soarin swooped down to Fluttershy's door. Knocking lightly, he waited until the door was answered. "Fluttershy, is Big Mac here, I need to talk to him, it's urgent."
"Yes, he's here. Hold on just a second." Fluttershy walked back into the house and called upstairs. "Macky, you have a visitor."
Big Macintosh came down the stairs smiling at the blue pegasus stallion. "Hey there Soarin, how ya'll doin' this mornin'?"
"I wish I could say good but that's not the case. It seems we had a bit of an incident last night." He said.
"What's going on?" He asked. As concisely as he could, Soarin explained everything that transpired last night and that morning. As he explained, the smile disappeared from his Big Macintosh's face. "Let's go Soarin. We'll get Caramel next then grab Braeburn and the Doctor."
The two stallions walked out the door only to be stopped by Fluttershy. "Macky, wait. Please, don't hurt him. He's confused and I don't think he understands what his actions are doing." She said.
The large red pony shook his head. "Shy, I love you more than any pony has a right but sometimes a stallion's got to do what a stallion's got to do. Spike needs to stop bein' selfish. I promise I won't hurt him butterfly but I can't speak for the rest. He hurt Rainbow last night and somethin' tells me Rainbow aint gonna' let it go." Macintosh kissed her on the cheek. "Why don't you go see Rarity, she could use a friend right now."
"I will dear. When you talk to the other girls, please send them also. I'm sure Rarity can use all the help she can get right now." Fluttershy requested.
"I will, I promise." He said, smiling at his mate.
True to his word at each house they stopped, Big Macintosh recruited another stallion and sent another of the mares to Rarity's. Running northeast from town they stopped at Ditzy's home. Braeburn knocked on the door. It wasn't long before Dinky answered the door.
"Why hello there little darlin'. Is your mom here?" Braeburn asked.
The grayish teenaged unicorn looked at him a little strange until she saw Big Macintosh behind him. "Yeah, she's here, ome in." The four stallions stood around in the entry until Ditzy and Julian came down.
"Hey Doc, we need to talk to you about something." Braeburn said.
"Of course my good sirs. And my name is Julian now, I'm not the Doctor anymore." The four stallions informed him of the events of the previous night and morning. "That's odd. I've known Spike as long as I've lived here and it doesn't seem like him. Granted, he's a dragon and an adolescent dragon at that. Hormones are a powerful motivator of behavior. But still I can't think he would do something like this."
"Believe it Julian." Caramel said.
"Are you sure?" Ditzy asked. "Why would Spike do something like that?"
"The dragon has gone and gambled with his life just because he can't knock hooves with Rarity." Macintosh said.
"I see. Ditzy, why don't you and Dinky go over to Rarity's Boutique and see if you can cheer her up a little, I'll go with these fine fellows and see what I can do." Julian told her.
"Okay, come on Dinky, let's go!" She shouted excitedly.
Julian watched the two most important mares in his life gallop off into the distance before turning his attention back to the stallions standing just inside the door. "With this new development, it appears that Spike is more of a kindred spirit than I thought."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Soarin asked.
"It means that for the last several years, I was not capable of having any kind of intimate relationship with Ditzy. I wanted to but I was a Time Lord. My responsibilities forbade any kind of intimate relationship with anypony. Now that I'm not a Time Lord anymore, I can pursue her and indeed I am. I'll come with you four to talk to him but I will not chastise the boy. He and Rarity deserve to have as full a relationship as any one of us." Julian grabbed the multicolored scarf Ditzy made for him and quickly joined the other stallions before continuing on their way to the palace.
Rainbow Dash followed Sweetie Belle up to the palace gates when the guards stopped them. "Let me do the talking." She said.
"Halt!" One of the guards commanded. "What is your business in the castle?"
"My name is Sweetie Belle, I'm one of Princess Luna and Lady Twilight's personal guards from Ponyville. Please let me pass." The guards did not move. Sweetie Belle held up her badge of office, a medallion with a picture of the crescent moon emblazoned on it.
The Guards parted and allowed her to enter. "Our apologies ma'am. There have been some strange goings on around the Castle as of late."
"What sort of goings on?" The unicorn asked.
"Come on, do we really have time for this?" Rainbow Dash asked impatiently.
"It might be important Rainbow, I need to know everything that might impact my position." Sweetie Belle told her before turning back to the guard.
"There have been unidentified ponies loitering around the perimeter of the estate and twice we've apprehended ponies masquerading as royal pages or castle staff inside the palace." He said. "Our commanding officer has instructed us to scrutinize any pony trying to gain access to the Castle."
"I understand. I have important business inside with Princess Luna and Lady Twilight. Could you please direct us to them?"
"Certainly; Lady Twilight and the Princess are in the third room down the second corridor on the left." Sweetie Bell and Rainbow Dash nodded to the guards and hurried inside.
The two ponies rushed down the hall indicated by the guard and, following is directions, they arrived at the correct door but found it locked. Rainbow Dash pounded on the door with her hoof. "We know you're in there Spike. You best get your scaly butt out here before I break my way in. You've got some explaining to do." The door creaked open to find a ragged Twilight on the other side of the door. "Twilight, what happened to you?"
"I'm okay Dash. We just completed the aging spell on Spike and it seems that the spell took a lot more out of Luna and myself than we counted on. Casting the initial spell is easy but controlling the rate of ageing was difficult to say the least. We've already completed the change but he needs to stay where he is for a while yet."
"Where is he?" Sweetie Belle asked, barging into the room. The room was in fact a clerical office that had sat unused for years. An ornate desk had been moved against the far wall and Princess Luna was lying on a cardigan next to a large, multicolored object resting on the floor.
"He's over there, inside that cocoon of gems." Twilight said. The gems are reinforced with magic and replenishing his dangerously low mineral levels. Unfortunately, they're also the only things keeping him alive right now. We're just going to have to wait now and hope he pulls through."
Sweetie Belle ran into the room and threw herself over the cocoon. "Why Daddy, why did you do it?"