Luna the Matchmaker
Chapter 9 "Not All Tears Are Sad."
By Steven Little
My Little Pony is © Hasbro
Luna pulled the crying Sweetie Belle towards her. "It's okay dear. You must be careful, the shell of gems and magic are the only things keeping Spike alive right now. Should it break, we might loose him."
"I don't understand, what's going on Rainbow Dash? Why are you two here?" Twilight asked.
"I'm here to knock the stuffing out of that dragon as soon he gets out of there." She said.
"Has everypony gone crazy, what is going on?" Twilight demanded.
"Last night, Spike told Rainbow Dash that there was an emergency and that you needed him here." Sweetie Belle explained. "This morning, mom got a letter from Spike." Sweetie Belle gave the letter to her.
Twilight scanned the parchment quickly. "Oh Spike, you didn't have to lie to us. We would have understood."
Luna could see the sadness and disappointment written on her mate's face. "Rainbow Dash, please return to Ponyville and see to Rarity. Try to keep her calm and inform her that Spike is okay and will be back there as soon as possible." She told her.
"I aint going anywhere till I settle with Spike. I hate being used and lied to."
Twilight rubbed her temple with a hoof. "Dash please go, I'm tired, I'm worn out, Dawn and Dusk still need to be fed and I am in no mood to deal with this right now. I promise, when Spike wakes up we will deal with him. Anything else that needs to be said can wait till he gets back now shoo!"
"Okay, okay but the next time I see him I'm gonna' bust him in the chops!" Rainbow turned and left in a huff.
"Belle dear, Twilight and I are going to go lay down and rest for a while. We need the respite after completing such a difficult spell. Could you do us a favor and watch over Spike?" Luna asked.
Sweetie Belle saluted smartly. "You can count on me Princess." She ran over and laid down next the gem cocoon that held the only father she had ever known.
Luna and Twilight left the room and were on their way to the bedchamber when Luna stopped them. "I just had an idea, hold on a moment." Luna closed her eyes and her horn began to glow. She stood there for a few minutes then opened her eyes, smiled and trotted off toward the bedroom.
"Dear, what did you do?" Twilight asked.
"Not much, just arranged for someone to keep Belle company while we sleep." Luna informed her mate.
Back in Ponyville, Scootaloo shook her head, trying to shake the image of Princess Luna out of her mind. 'Was that real?' She asked herself. 'Was it a dream? Luna said Sweetie Belle needs me. Well even if it was a dream I can't let her down.' Jumping from the edge of the cloud she had been sleeping on, the young orange pegasus opened her wings and flew towards Canterlot. She didn't know why she needed to go there but every fiber of her being told her that Sweetie Belle would be at the Palace in Canterlot and that she needs her help.
Scootaloo was faster than the majority of pegasi in her class but nowhere near as fast as Rainbow Dash or Soarin. Even with her ability to reach speeds her classmates couldn't, Scootaloo's wings were still smaller than average and it took her hours to reach the outskirts of the city. The young Pegasus rested on a cloud to catch her breath. Her wings were soar and her lungs felt like they were on fire from the exertion. As she tried to regain control over her breathing, down below her she saw a group of five stallions talking. Straining her ears she just make out what they were saying.
"Are you sure Soarin?" Braeburn asked him.
"Sure I'm sure. Rainbow Dash was heading back to town. I flew up and asked her what was going on. She told me that Princess Luna and Twilight had already cast their spell on Spike. Seems he lied to them too. Told them that he had talked everything over with Rarity and Sweetie Belle. By the time they got there it was too late to do anything about it. We'll just have to wait till he comes out of the shell they put him in before we have our little chat."
"Wait nuthin'. I'm gonna' knock some sense into that that boy even if I got to bust him outta' that shell myself." Big Macintosh stated.
"That a bit harsh isn't it? I'm sure we can come to some sort of rational agreement here." Julian pleaded. "Saorin, didn't you say that shell was keeping Spike alive?"
"Yeah, that's what Rainbow said."
"Of course Twilight would say that, those two are like brother and sister." Macintosh said.
"Until I get confirmation on Spike's condition, I wont lay a hoof on him and I won't allow any of you to harm the boy." Julian said, steadfast in his statement.
"Your too soft Julian. Spike practically abandoned Rarity and their foal. That's just not the sort of thing you do. Spikes only caring about himself. If it takes a bit of ruff and tumble to get that through his scaly head, then so be it.
"Caramels right there Julian. Spike knew he had responsibilities now. He knows he can't just dump them on Rarity when the mood suits him." Braeburn added.
"I can understand why all of you are upset and if it's true, he'll answer to me as well. I just think we all need to calm down and find out exactly what's happening before we do something we'll all regret." Julian pleaded with them.
'This was what Luna was trying to tell me. It wasn't a dream after all. I've gotta' warn Belle.' She thought to herself as she shot off toward the palace.
Flying right up to the main entrance, she hovered in front of the guards and showed them the purple amulet hanging around her neck. "My name is Scootaloo, personal guard to Princess Luna and Lady Twilight. Let me pass please it's very important that I see Sweetie Belle."
"The filly you seek is in the third room down the second corridor on the left." One of the guards informed her. The guards stepped aside and admitted the pegasus into the palace. Scootaloo ran through the palace to the room the guards indicated. Bursting in she found Sweetie Belle curled up next to a glowing pink cocoon.
"Belle, Belle, wake up!"
"Scooty, what are you doing here?" She asked.
"Princess Luna sent for me, she said you needed help."
"But I'm okay, or as okay as I can be with my daddy in this thing." She said.
"But there's five stallions coming to get Spike. Big Macintosh, Braeburn, Caramel, Soarin and some pony that looks like the Doctor but they call him Julian. I heard them as I flew over. They're really mad at Spike about something."
"Oh my gosh! I need to get out there quick." Sweetie Belle gave Scootaloo a quick kiss on the lips. "Thanks for rushing here so fast to help." The teenaged unicorn raced out of the room and headed for the main entrance of the Castle.
As the unicorn skidded to a stop at the entrance to the Castle, the two door guards rushed up the. "Miss Belle is everything alright? Is there something we can do for you?" The guard on her left asked.
"Yes, as a mater of fact there is. Five stallions will be arriving here shortly. I will deal with them." She told them, resentment burning in her eyes. "I want both of you to remain at your posts. Should they get past me however, I want you to stop them. They are not to enter the Palace."
"Are these the orders of Princess Luna?" The other guard asked.
"In a round about way, yes. Spike the dragon is gravely ill and the Princess has charged me with his safety. The ponies approaching the palace are not bad ponies but I believe they mean the small dragon harm."
The two guards look at each other and smiled at the junior guards ambition and tenacity. "We are at your command Miss Belle." Sweetie Belle sat between the two guards waiting as one by one, the five stallions made there way to the front entry of the Palace.
"Halt!" Sweetie Belle said in as commanding a voice she could muster.
The five ponies came to a stop, shocked at the unicorn filly's tone. "We aint got time for your games Sweetie Belle. We got business inside with Spike." Macintosh said.
"If you want my daddy then you're going to have to go through me first." She stated brazenly.
None of the stallions were surprised at the statement as word had gotten around about Rarity and Sweetie Belle's true relationship. "Sweetie. This doesn't really concern you. I don't think you understand what's really goin' on here." Braeburn said dismissively.
"Like heck I don't!" She yelled at him. "You think I don't understand that Spike thought the only way he could be a real daddy to Garnet and me or a husband to Rarity was to take drastic steps? He's risking his life for us. You can't possibly know what he's going through; nopony understood. They can't possibly know."
Julian stepped between the two parties. "Now now, there's no need for shouting. Sweetie Belle. Why is this so important to you?" He asked.
"I hear mommy crying almost every night. I see Spike sad and depressed all the time. I asked her about it once and she told me that she's sad because ever since Garnet was born, they've tried to be intimate but each time it just made Spike depressed. It hurt my mom to know she couldn't show her love for him without causing him pain."
"That's because he's a kid, Sweetie Belle!" Caramel shouted. "By all counts those two shouldn't even be together. But here we are, Rarity had a kid with him and child or not he has to live up to that responsibility."
"Buck you Caramel! Spike's twenty-two years old, that makes him an adult! It's not his fault that he ages slower than we do! You have no idea what that's like, none of you! You can't understand what it's like, not being able to really be with the one you love. I know what you all are thinking. You think Spike is being selfish. You think he's doing this for no other reason than to have sex with Rarity."
"Sweetie Belle!" Macintosh shouted. "You watch what you say around your elders."
"No, I won't!" She said stamping both of her front hooves down; tears of anger, furry, and sadness rolled down her cheeks. "When was the last time any of you actually made love to your filly?! Was it last night, the week before?!" She stood there staring at one then another, trying to control her emotions. "The last and only time my daddy made love to my mom was over four years ago! Sex is sex but if you could never really make love to that one pony you love more than anything in the world, how would you feel?1"
"We don't have time for this." Soarin said as he flew into the air and attempted to enter the palace through one of the windows. Soarin did not get far when Sweetie Belle used her magic to grab him by the tail, forcefully yanked him out of the air and threw him to the ground.
"Sweetie Belle, what have you done?" Caramel asked shocked.
"I'm sorry but I did what I have to!" Sweetie Belle took up an aggressive posture, pointing her horn menacingly. "I've been trained by the Royal Guard Academy on how to use this thing. If you try to pass me, I will use it!" She yelled, breathing hard.
"Don't be foolish Belle. You can't hope to stop all of us." Soarin said, getting back to his hooves.
"She doesn't have to!" Sweetie Belle turned her head to find Scootaloo and half a contingent of Celestia's royal guard to back them up. Scootaloo stepped in front of her and adopted the same stance Sweetie Belle had a moment earlier.
Spreading her small wings in a protective manor, shielding Sweetie Belle, she sneered at the stallions. "You five should be ashamed of yourselves. Especially you Soarin, you knew Belle and I were seeing each other!"
The other stallions looked at Soarin curiously. "I didn't lay a hoof on her, this has nothing to do with either of you we're just trying to get inside to talk with Spike." The blue pegasus tried to explain.
"Really? You expect me to believe that? I heard you, all of you; you're so angry at Spike that you're ready to break him out of the shell that's keeping him alive. Are you really so angry at him you'd risk his life?"
"I never said that, I just wanted to talk to him; find out why he lied to your mother and everypony else." Soarin said.
"Well now you know so what are you five going to do now? Are you going to continue picking on my marefriend? Are you going to keep picking on somepony almost half your age? You're all patronizing and dismissive of her because either you think she's too young or too inexperienced to know what she's talking about. Let me tell you, she knows the difference between sex and making love. Sweetie Belle and I have been sharing a bed for the last few months. She may be young but I can assure you she's not inexperienced. Now, if you colts are done I suggest you turn around and go back to Ponyville. You can do more good there than here."
"I think you five could learn a lesson from these two."
All the quarreling ponies looked up to see Princes Celestia standing in the doorway. They immediately bowed in reverence. "Rise, please. You five came here with what I believe was the best of intentions but on the way you got yourselves fuming and ready for a fight. Doctor, or is it Julian now? You were the voice of reason in this group and for that I thank you. The rest of you should calm down. These two young mares gave you every reason to try and understand what's really going on here but you were too angry and upset to listen. I think Scootaloo is correct. I think it best you return to Ponyville. I will personally see to it that Spike is made aware of the repercussions of his actions. I hope you all can trust me with this task."
"Yes Princess." They said in unison.
The five stallions turned to leave but Soarin stopped and walked back. "I'm sorry Scootaloo, you too Belle, I didn't intend to get so mad; I just don't like seeing Rainbow being taken advantage of. I wouldn't have really hurt Spike and I'd never lay a hoof on Sweetie Belle, especially now, she packs quite wallop."
Scootaloo cracked a half smile. "Yeah, she does; you should have seen here during training."
"Sorry about that." Sweetie Belle apologized.
"Don't be, I crossed the line; you were just protecting Spike." He said. "So, are we cool girls?" The blue pegasus asked.
"Yeah, we're cool; I couldn't stay mad at the guy who's gonna' marry mom." She said smiling.
"Yeah Soarin, don't worry about it; I'm sure you meant well." Sweetie Belle said.
The blue pegasus smiled back at Scootaloo and her marefriend then galloped off to catch up with his friends.
Stepping back into the palace, Sweetie Belle began to shiver uncontrollably. Scootaloo was right there to help prop her up. "Belle, are you okay?"
"Oh dear." Celestia said. The Princess turned to her captain of the guard who was never far away. "Commander Stormwing, please get Splints here and hurry." The white Pegasus took one look at Sweetie Belle and rushed off after giving Celestia a sharp salute.
Scootaloo held the shaking filly tightly, trying to calm her down. "What's wrong with her Princess?" Scootaloo asked. "Is she going to be okay?"
"It's battle shock." An olive green Pegasus said.
"But she wasn't in combat, she was protecting her dad from those stallions outside." Scootaloo explained.
"It doesn't matter, she had so much adrenalin running through her body for so long that her system is having a problem dealing with it." Splints explained.
"Will she be okay Splints?" Celestia asked.
"Yes your majesty. She just needs to rest." He said.
"In that case, I suggest we put her in with her father." The Princess said. "Scootaloo, I'm counting on you to watch over them both."
"Yes your majesty, I won't let you down." Scootaloo said saluting the elder Princess.
Sweetie Belle slowly opened her eyes; a loud crunching noise assaulted her ears. Belle rolled over in the direction of the noise and jumped up, shocked at what she saw. A purple dragon was sitting in what was left of the gem cocoon, slowly devouring it. "Daddy?" She asked.
"Hello my little angle." He said.
Sweetie Belle jumped on the dragon wrapping her front hooves around his neck. "Daddy! I'm so happy you're all right. You had us all worried."
"I'm sorry Sweetie. I didn't mean for this to get so complicated but I know that your mother would have found a way to talk me out of this if given the chance. She can be very persuasive when she wants to be." Spike set Sweetie Belle down on the floor and slowly got up to stretch.
Spike had certainly grown. He stood as tall as Big Macintosh but now he walked on all fours instead of only two feet. His body was a little longer than most ponies and his tail followed behind him thick but tapering out into a spade shaped point. His neck was also slightly longer than that of a normal pony and his face was no longer flat and babyish. Instead, his snout extended a good five or six inches from the rest of his face. Below his chin was a small patch of green fur about two inches long. On his head and down his back, where his green scales had been before now had a green mane that flowed down his head, neck and back. It wasn't overly long but short enough to look neat. From the front corners of his mouth stood the same too small fangs but now Sweetie Belle assumed they were larger than they used to be. Spike could feel Sweetie Belle studying his new form. "I guess I'm going to have to get used to walking like this from now on. It's not that different from when I was a pony."
"We do good work don't we darling?" Luna and Twilight had been standing in the doorway.
"Yes we do." Twilight said smiling. "But Spike, I must say that you've disappointed me. You didn't have to lie to get this." Twilight lectured him. "If you told us how you felt, like you told Rarity, we would have gladly helped."
"Indeed." Princess Celestia walked gracefully into the room. "I hope you understand just how precious that little daughter of your is. She faced down four full-grown stallions that were quite upset with you, and by herself no less. I spoke to the guards. She had given them instructions not to assist her unless they got past her."
"She did?" Spike asked.
"Yes Spike. From what I heard she ruffed up Soarin with her magic. She even threatened them with the business end of her horn if they tried to get past her to you." Twilight informed him. "You have a lot of apologizing to do in Ponyville. I suggest you go take care of it as soon as possible. A carriage is waiting out side to take you Scoot and Belle back home. We'll be back sometime in the next few days."
Spike gave Twilight a big hug. "Thank you so much Twilight. I'll never forget this."
Twilight gasped for air. "Spike. Can't, breath!"
Spike released her immediately. "Heh, sorry Twilight, guess I don't know my own strength anymore." He turned to Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo. "Come on girls. We have a bunch of ponies to surprise."
Spike walked toward the door with Sweetie Belle riding on his back and Scootaloo walking beside them. He stopped in the doorway and looked back at the royal family with tears in his deep emerald eyes. "Thank you so much." He said scarcely above a whisper. He nuzzled Sweetie Belle's cheek then continued to the carriage.
Celestia wiped a tear away looking at the other two alicorns. She saw in their eyes the same emotions she herself was feeling as they watched Spike leave for home. "Speaking of surprises." Celestia said. "Shouldn't you get to your parents house and let them in on you're three little secrets."
"You right, they're expecting us in an hour. Luna can you get the twins ready, I'll meet you by the front entry."
"What are you going to be doing while I'm getting Dawn and Dusk?" Luna asked
"I'll be trying not to freak out."
Princess Celestia walked toward the entrance to the palace and found a very nervous Twilight Sparkle pacing back and forth. "Twilight, is everything all right?" She asked, concerned.
"Everything is fine. I'm just going to tell my parents, whom I haven't spoken to or even written to in four years, that I'm a filly fooler, I'm marrying Princess Luna, and oh hey we used a magic spell and now they have twin grandfoals." Twilight rambled sarcastically.
"Oh, is that all?" The Princess asked, trying to diffuse the situation.
"Celestia, I'm afraid they wont love me anymore." Twilight admitted. "You know them, my parents were raised in the ways of the old nobility; what if they don't approve of my relationship with Luna? What if they don't accept their grandfouls? What if
Princess Celestia held up a hoof to silence the comparably young alicorn. "Twilight, calm yourself. Yes, I know your parents; better than you do apparently. I've known your mother since the birth of Shining Armor. Only your mother would refuse to reschedule a royal audience on account of being in labor." The Princess chuckled, remembering the incident. The white alicorn sat next to her former pupil. "Your parents may have been raised in the old nobility but they have their own thoughts and ideas; so much so that both of them called off arranged marriages so they could be together. Trust me Twilight, everything is going to be fine."
"I agree with Tia." Luna said as she walked up to her mate with their foals securely snuggled down in her saddlebags. "I only met your parents briefly during your brothers wedding but they seemed like ponies who love their children."
"You see Twilight, you have nothing to fear." Celestia said, giving her future sister-in-law a reassuring hug. "Now, while you two are out and about in town, I was wondering if you could run a small errand for me?"
"I don't see why not." Luna said.
Celestia gave a scroll to Twilight emblazoned with the royal seal. "After Sweetie Belle's concert four months ago, I realized that my school for gifted unicorns could benefit from an expert in illusion magic. After an exhaustive search I've found an excellent candidate. As my prized pupil, I'd like you to extend the invitation Twilight."
"I'd be honored, who is it?" She asked.
"I think I'll let you discover that on your own but you can find her at the Noonvale Theater; it's located on Beethooven lain in the arts quarter." Celestia told them.
"Sister, are you up to something?" Luna asked.
"I have no idea what you're talking about little sister." Celestia said with a smile. "Off you go now; if you hurry you should get there between performances."
Luna and Twilight approached the Noonvale Theater, escorted by a small contingent of six royal night guards. "Dear, was the escort really necessary?" Twilight asked. "There are so many ponies starring at us."
"Trust me darling, there would be many many more ponies looking at us if the guards weren't here. I'm just happy the children are sleeping; this kind of attention is not what they need at their age." Luna explained.
"Your grace, we've arrived. Lady Twilight, I think you may want to see this." The lead guard said.
Twilight walked up to a performance poster plastered to the front wall of the theater next to the door. "Oh no, no no no no no, this is not happening." Twilight said, shaking her head. The poster in front of her depicted a particular unicorn mare that was made up to look like Twilight.
Luna walked up next to her mate. "The resemblance is passable but the mane and tail are all wrong. Do you know this pony dear?"
Twilight was fuming. "Oh yes, I know her." She said barging through the front door. Seeing a pony behind the ticket counter, Twilight marched right up to him. "Where is she? Where is that imposter?" She demanded.
The entrance of Twilight, Luna, and six royal night guards startled the stallion behind the counter. For a moment, the yellow unicorn stallion stood there staring at them with his teal eyes. He brushed his short red hair out of his face and blinked his eyes as if he was unsure of what he was seeing. Suddenly he busted up laughing. "Oh that was good Trix! You had me going for a moment there! Wow, you really got me. Hey, I thought you said you didn't want to reproduce Twilight's appearance exactly and what's with the wings, a new addition to the act?" The stallion walked around the counter and approached one of the guards. "These guys look so real, babe you are defiantly getting better." He said poking the royal guard in the chest. The guard in question wasted no time pinning the unfortunate stallion to the ground.
From the upstairs suite of the theater a particular mare heard a commotion and decided to investigate. Her light blue mane bounced of it's own accord as she trotted down the stairs that led to the theater lobby. "Sethy, is everything okay?"
"The Great and Powerful Trixie I presume?" Twilight asked accusingly.
"Twilight? What's going on here? Who are all these ponies, what
" Trixie stopped mid-sentence when she saw the Princess. "You're majesty, we apologies for yelling; Princess Celestia told me you and Twilight would visit but we did not expect you so soon." She tried to explain while
The guard that had the unicorn stallion pinned to the ground allowed him up with a nod from Twilight. He walked to Trixie's side. "Perhaps you would like to explain why my fiancée is being impersonated in this theater. I know what happened between you two and I would assume this is your sick way of getting revenge. Are you using this theater to smear her good name?" Luna demanded.
A young, light blue unicorn colt with a red mane and tail came running down the stairs and jumped in front of a shocked Trixie. "You leave my mommy alone! Why are you being so mean to her?!" He demanded.
Trixie reached out and snatched up her son. "Its okay Rusty, Mommy and Daddy are just, uhm, auditioning these ponies, it's all an act, you remember what I told you about acting right?"
"Yes mommy, acting is just pretend, not real." He said proudly.
"That's my boy." The stallion said, mussing the colt's mane with his hoof.
"Can I play with the babies mommy?" Rusty asked.
"Babies, what babies?" Trixie asked. The light blue unicorn looked around and settled her gaze on the saddlebags lying across Luna's back and the two foals sitting up in them, looking around at their new surroundings. Twilight was unsure.
"He's a good boy they'll be safe with him, I give you my word." The colt's father assured them.
Luna looked to Twilight who then nodded her agreement. "Lieutenant, please take the Prince and Princess into the other room with the young colt and keep an eye on them. I leave their safety in your hooves." Luna said to one of the younger guards. After the guard and the three foals left the room, Luna turned her attention on the two other ponies. "Well then, now that the children are not in the room, would you care to explain yourselves?"
"Twilight, Your majesty, Trixie would like
I mean I want to say that I would never use this theater to slander Twilight's name; in fact it was Twilight that brought me and Seth together." Trixie explained. "After what happened in Ponyville all those years ago, I had a hard time getting work. I was down to my last bit and I blamed you for all of it Twilight. That's when I met Seth. We married a few months later and the year after, little Rusty was born. Seth took me in and he and Rusty gave me purpose again. Most of all, Seth got me to see that I caused my problems not you."
"I'm happy for you, truly, but what does any of that have to do with impersonating me?" Twilight asked.
"I accepted that my magic couldn't compare with yours and that's when I had an idea. Instead of bragging about feats I never preformed, I'd show other ponies the abilities of a truly amazing unicorn." She said. "All I do is use my magic to cast an illusion on myself and the stage to allow the audience see what ever is needed for the days performance."
"It saves a fortune on sets and costumes and ponies love it." Seth said. "Ever since we started performing the Twilight series, our theater has been packed, they can't get enough of you and your adventures." Twilight blushed slightly. "If it's okay may I ask a question?"
"I don't see the harm." Luna responded.
"Well, actually it's a few questions. You called Twilight you're fiancée, is that true? And the wings, are they magic or real?" Seth asked.
"The foals, are they yours Twilight or the Princesses?" Trixie asked.
Twilight wasn't sure what to say. Luna nudged her. "Go ahead dear, they'll find out soon enough."
"Luna and I are engaged to be married, the foul are ours." Twilight said.
"But how is that possible?" Trixie asked.
"That and the wings are a long story." Twilight said, shaking her head.
"Well, we have two hours before the next show, I'd love to hear what happened." Trixie said; her face lit up at the prospect of new material for their performances. The Two alicorns took a deep breath and began their story.
Trixie and Seth sat there taking in the story they were told. "Wow, uhm, that was incredible. I never knew." The light blue unicorn said.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to sound like I was boasting." Twilight apologized.
"Are you kidding?" Seth asked. "This is going to give us material for at least ten more episodes in our series! That is, if it's okay with you your majesty."
"I don't think you're going to have time. It seems your performances caught the eye of someone else." Twilight informed them and she gave Celestia's scroll to Trixie.
The light blue unicorn unrolled the scroll and read it carefully. "What is it Trix?"
"It's a letter from Princess Celestia, she wants me to teach illusion magic and theory at her school, she's even offered a spot at the school for Rusty providing he passes the entrance exam." She said, surprised.
"My sister is apparently very taken with your ability. What shall I tell her?" Luna asked.
"Yes, of course yes, if it's okay with you Sethy." She said.
"Go for it babe, you'll be a great teacher and I know Rusty can pass the exam. He deserves the best education possible." Seth told her.
"If you like, I can tutor him for the exam, every little bit helps." Twilight offered.
Trixie was in tears. "Thank you Twilight, thank you. I don't know how I can ever repay you."
"I didn't do anything Trixie. Celestia recognized your talent, your ability, and sought you out. She must also see something in Rusty to sponsor his admission to her school." Twilight assured her.
"Yes! The Great and Powerful Trixie is finally acknowledged for her greatness!" Trixie blurted out. "I mean, thank you, it means a lot to me. Lets go tell Rusty the good news."
Twilight and Luna walked out of the theater with their escort, the foal's snuggly secured in their bags. "That was interesting but thanks to my sisters errand I fear we will be late talking with your parents."
"It's such a nice day, we don't have to hurry; let's take the scenic route." Twilight suggested as they walked down the street.
Luna could see her mate shaking visibly. "Dear, you really need to calm down. I'm sure your parents will understand."
"I'm trying but I just don't know what to say. The last letter I sent them talked about you coming to town and staying with Rarity."
"You saw me?"
"I was stargazing on my balcony that night and even with you trying to hide, an alicorn tends to catch the eye, or at least mine." Twilight said smiling.
"Well, at least you're smiling. So which way to your parents house?"
"They live by the Observatory. On the north end of the city." Twilight explained. Luna continued walking but Twilight was rooted in place.
"Your majesty." One of the guards called out. Luna looked back to find the love of her life glued to her spot on the sidewalk. Walking back to her mare, Luna nuzzled her softly. "I'm sure everything will be fine. And even if your parents have a problem with you marrying a princess you'll always have me and the foals." Twilight smiled and started walking with her toward the observatory that towered in the distance.
The walk to Twilight's fillyhood home didn't take as long as she hoped it would. Twilight gently knocked on the door. "No pony home, I guessed we missed them. We can go now." She said rapidly.
Inside the Sparkle home the five ponies inside heard a knock at the door. Star got up from the table. "You four relax, I'll get it. It's most likely Twilight."
"No Mrs. Sparkle, I'll get it. You spend time with Aiden and your son; I've kept you apart for too long already and I'd love to surprise my sister-in-law." Cadence told her.
"Don't blame yourself dear, you have an important job. I'm just happy to see you all when I can." Star told her.
"I'll try to make more of a habit of dropping by now, please let me answer the door before she leaves."
The door behind Twilight opened quickly just as she was trying to walk away. "Twilight! We were afraid you weren't going to make it." Princess Cadence said hugging her sister-in-law. "Oh my goodness, you have wings!" She said shocked.
Twilight's parents rushed out to the front door to find Princess Luna, Twilight and, six royal guards. "Princess Luna!" Her father said surprised. Both he and Twilight's mother bowed immediately.
Twilight lowered her head to her parents. "Mom, Dad, get up please. Luna hates it when pony's do that"
"Mr. and Mrs. Sparkle, I'm so happy to finally meet you. Cadence, I'm happy to see you again as well but maybe we should go inside. Since Twilight has been negligent in her letters to you, I'm afraid we have quite a bit to talk about."
"Of course, of course and please, call me Star. Our home is your home." She said ushering them inside.
Luna turned to the six guards that had escorted them. "I would appreciate it if you would remain outside."
"As you wish Princess."
The ponies walked into the living room and made themselves comfortable. "Since my wife has already introduced herself, my name is Crescent. May I take your bags Princess?"
"That's okay, I don't think they'd be to happy with you handling them just yet since they've never seen you before."
"I'm sorry, I don't understand." Crescent said. A little foal head popped up from each of the two bags.
"Oh my goodness, they're darling." Princess Cadence said. "Shining, get over here quick."
Shining Armor rushed into the entry hall of the large house. "Cadence, I just put Aiden down for a nap, is everything okay?"
Twilight laughed sheepishly. "Mom, Dad, Shining, I'd like you to meet my foals."
"Foals? They're yours? When, who
" Star asked shocked.
"I gave birth five days ago to twins. Dusk for the colt and Dawn for the filly." Twilight explained.
"Who's the father and why isn't he here?" Shining Armor asked more than a little upset.
"Something I'd like to know as well." Crescent remarked.
"I sired the foals." Luna stated bluntly. "Twilight and I are very much in love and are set to be married shortly. I would very much like to have your blessing though."
"I have to sit down." Crescent said. Looking at his daughter and the fear in her eyes, Crescent couldn't help but smile. "Twilight, before anything else happens, please calm yourself okay?"
"Dear, we're not mad just a little shocked is all." Her mother said.
Shining Armor and Cadence flanked Twilight and the Princess. "Mom and Dad are right Twily and I'm not mad at you either." Her brother said. Dawn and Dusk sat in their bags on the floor surrounded by their family when they began to cry.
"Dear, I think it's feeding time." Luna said. Twilight nodded and levitated their foals over to hear and brought them to her abdomen while Luna covered her with a blanket for a small amount of privacy.
The adult ponies in the room smiled. "Twilight, Aunt Luna; I think you should explain everything from the beginning. It would certainly answer a lot of questions." Princess Cadence suggested.
Over the next two hours, the two alicorns laid it all out on the table. They explained about Luna in Ponyville, her adventures in matchmaking, the battle with Nightmare Moon, Luna and Twilight's wings. Things were a little less descript when they explained how two mares could conceive children. They finally discussed the visit from Discord and the events surrounding her future and that of her friends. By now, the twins had finished feeding and were being held by their aunt and uncle while Twilight and Luna were fawning over Aiden, Twilight's nephew who had his fathers white coat, his mother violet eyes and a streak of blond running through his blue mane and tail.
"You're going to have to give me a minute sweetie. This is a bit much to take at once." Crescent said.
Star punched her husband in the shoulder. "What's to understand? Our daughter has been turned into an alicorn. She's given birth to two beautiful foals and she and her friends are going to live forever so they can defend Equestria from anything that would ever threaten it. On top of all that, she's fallen in love with Princess Luna and they're getting married. Really dear sometimes you can be terribly slow." Star and Cadence walked over and hugged Twilight. "We're so happy for you." Star said.
Cadence turned to Luna and embraced her. "We're happy for both of you."
Twilight's father and brother sat next to her, watching Star and Cadence hugging Luna. "You really know how to pick them Twily. I'm happy for you too." Her brother said.
Twilight hugged her father and brother tightly. "Mom, Dad, we were wondering. At the wedding it's tradition for the father to give the daughter away. We were wondering if you would be willing to give Luna away, Mom?"
"Of course dear. I'd love to."
The carriage carrying Spike, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo slowly came to halt outside the Carousel Boutique. "I have no idea what I'm doing." Spike confessed to the two fillies. They stepped off the carriage, thanked the attendants and walked toward the shop.
"I know." Sweetie Belle said. "You stay here and hide in the bushes. When I say so, walk out into the light so mom can see you."
"Okay angel. I'll wait here." Spike said.
Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo ran inside the shop and up the stairs to the private apartment. The whole place was packed with ponies all there to support Rarity. "Sweetie Belle." Big Macintosh said. "What are you doing here? I thought you'd still be up in Canterlot."
"Well, I'm back now. And I'm sorry for the way I acted. I shouldn't have threatened you. It's just, Spike is the only daddy I've ever known and I didn't want anything to happen to him."
Macintosh put his hoof along her cheek. "It's okay Belle, I lost my father a long time ago so I can understand what your feelin'. Spike is lucky to have a daughter that loves him so much."
Sweetie Belle smiled and thanked him for his kind words. Pushing her way between ponies she nudged her way around till she found Rarity, she ran to her mother and hugged her tightly. "Sweetie Belle, your back. I missed you so much."
"I missed you too Mom. I did it; I kept my promise, I brought Daddy home." She said smiling.
"Where is he? I don't see him." Rarity said anxiously.
"He's outside. Everypony follow me!" Sweetie Belle shouted excitedly. There was a mass exodus of ponies pouring out of the shop and onto the path outside.
"Where is the little Spiky Wiky?" Pinky asked.
Sweetie Belle let out a piercing whistle. "Come on out Daddy!"
Spike cautiously stepped out of the bushes into shaft of light on the path. Rarity was awestruck by the creature standing before her. The pure golden light illuminated every scale on his body. He shined and glimmered as if he was made of the very jewels that nourished him during his sleep. For all his changes one thing stayed the same. Rarity could see that his emerald green eyes still radiated the love his heart held for her.
One by one the pony couples walked by Spike on their way home. "Sorry bout' earlier Spike. No hard feelins'?"
"None at all Braeburn. The Princesses told me what happened. I understand how you all felt. It's my fault and it's gonna' take a lot of work on my part to earn that trust back from all of you."
Pinky gave him a kiss on the cheek and whispered into his ear. "She needs you, don't let anything she says tell you different." Spike simply smiled and nodded.
Rainbow Dash walked up and without saying a word she punched him hard in the jaw, forcing his head to whip around violently. Spike saw it coming but didn't move; he simply sat there and took it. Turning his head back he looked at the pegasus in the eyes. "That's for lying to me!" She said angrily. "Don't ever do that again Spike. Next time just ask." She said as she flew off into the sky.
"That's one tough daughter you got there Spike. You take good care of her okay?"
"Will do Soarin."
Big Macintosh and Fluttershy walked by next. They didn't say anything they just nodded and walked on their way. Next came Applejack and Caramel.
"I just want you to know I understand why you did what you did Spike." Caramel said. "I would have done the same in your position but the way you did it is what's got everypony upset."
"You aint' just whistlin' Dixie. You got a whole heap of ponies mad at you Spike. You've lied to almost all your friends and worst yet you made that pony cry." She said indicating Rarity. "I suggest you do whatever it takes to put a smile back on her face or you and me are gonna' go a few rounds." Applejack gave him a sly wink as they walked off toward Sweet Apple Acres.
"Hi Mr. Spike, you sure got big. Are you and Rarity gonna' get married like the rest of us?"
"If she'll still have me Ditzy, yes."
"I wouldn't worry about it too much old boy. I've been a lot of places, seen a lot of things and I can tell you this. Since the invention of love itself, there have been five great loves that were rated the most passionate, the most pure, the most enduring. What I see between you and Rarity leaves them all behind." Spike smiled as Ditzy and Julian slowly walked home leaning against each other, their flanks touching.
"Come one Scoots lets leave them alone." Sweetie Belle whispered in her fillyfriends ear. Quickly, the two young mares ran off toward the Cutie Mark Crusader clubhouse.
"Rarity." Spike said.
She held up her hoof in regal manor to silence him. "I'm not sure I want you talking to me right now. Do you have any idea what you put me through? What you put all our friends through?" She asked taking a step closer to him with every word. "Garnet's been crying all day, he thought you left us. I had to tell him that everything was okay that you were just visiting Twilight in Canterlot and that you'd be back in a few days. He's with Granny Smith over at the farm but that's not the point. You forced me to lie to my son. I've lied to Sweetie Belle all her life. I don't want to lie to my children anymore!" She yelled at him.
Spike wrapped his arms around Rarity. "I'm sorry."
Rarity broke down crying. "I don't want you to be sorry, I want you to understand. I hate you for how you made me feel." She said beating her hooves against his chest. "It was like Belle's father all over again. The pain, the loneliness; I don't ever want to feel that again."
Spike put a claw under her chin and raised her face to meet his. "Then marry me Rarity. Marry me and you never ever have to be alone. I'll never leave you or the children ever again. You, Sweetie Belle, and Garnet are everything to me. If I lost you I'd go insane. I was wrong for leaving without talking to you. I was wrong for doubting your feelings for me. I was wrong for a lot of things recently but most of all, I was wrong for ever leaving your side." Spike confessed through the tears pouring from his eyes. "I know you said it once, but things have changed and I need to hear you say it once more."
"Do you mean that Spike? Do you promise never to leave us again? To never hide what your thinking or feeling from me?"
"My dearest Lady Rarity you have my most solemn word of honor that I shall never leave your side and if anything should come between us I will do my whatever it takes or die trying to once again be in your radiant presence."
"Oh Spike, yes, yes I'll marry you." Rarity kissed the dragon she had come to love more than life itself.
Rarity couldn't help but let her heart scream it's joy. 'Finally, I've found my Prince Charming!'