Pony POV Series
Dark World Drabbles
Heart of the Dragon
Edited by Alexwarlorn
“Unhand the princesses, foul beast!”
“Thou art the only one who can save us, brave knight!”
“Sister, that tis not the proper reaction for this situation!”
“Oh…sorry! I mean AHHHHHH!”
“I shall save you! I shall slay this foul wyrm and rescue ye!”
“If you want to save her, come at me little knight!”
“If I must then so be it! Come at ye!”
“Thou hath saved us brave knight! We art immensely grateful!”
“You are quite welcome and-gah!”
“You were awesome Tom! That was so much fun!”
“…Tia, I believe ye have broken character…”
“…But I thought the game was over when you beat Spike…”
I chuckled, sitting up, taking the little foam lance out from between my stomach scales. “Glad you had fun.”
“I did father, thank you for playing with us!” said Tom.
I gingerly picked up my little knight and nuzzled him. “Any time, kiddo…”
(Interviewer’s Notes (Applejack): Hehe, my you certainly have warmed up to little Tom, haven’t you Spike?)
Yeah, I know. The guy who tried to kill me the day he was born is my son now…You have no idea how awkward it was to explain that he was Rarity’s son and not her husband…
“Tom, darling…you’re not my husband…that was…make believe…but you are my son and I love you very much…”
“…What is a son, fair Rarity?”
“…Oh…right…I created you to be Prince Charming and most of my fantasies didn’t include children…um…”
Like I said, it was awkward…so very very awkward.
But once we explained it…Tom had to learn how to actually be a kid. Rarity wanted the little guy to have a normal foalhood. Ironically, he was pretty childish already if you ask me, he was trying so hard to act like an adult he couldn’t be more of a kid…Okay, that joke is a 1000 years too late.
(Interviewer’s Notes (Applejack): I guess you can sympathize with little Tom then?)
Yeah yeah. When you have a thousand years of nothing but reading, thinking, and being a stupid Draconequus‘ ride, you realize a couple things. I kinda do know how he feels. Tried so hard to be a grown up, I missed out on being a kid. Let that sink in: I’m a dragon. My childhood is a lot longer than a pony’s. And I more or less missed all of it. Part of it was Discord's fault, but a lot of it was mine. And no, I don’t wish I was a baby dragon again, I like being a great big, grown-up dragon. But I guess I don’t want the little guy to miss out like I did.
(Interviewer’s Notes (Applejack): So you don’t have a problem being a father to the pony who tried to kill you?)
No, surprisingly. I’m a dragon, I want my prized possession to have what she wants. I want her to be happy…Okay it did get awkward sometimes, but I got over it. And besides, he was just trying to protect Rarity, I can‘t fault him for that…That said…it wasn’t easy becoming a father…ironically I think I had an easier time becoming a king.
I was born in Canterlot. I literally lived at Celestia’s school for Gifted Unicorns my entire life. Heck, Celestia was a personal friend (yes, it was awkward to have her as my adopted daughter), and the paperwork at the hall of records legally had me as her ward even though Twilight was the one looking after me most of the time. And naturally I read a lot of political stuff during the last thousand years when all I did was be Discord’s ride and read. Hardest part was finding the right kind of toothpaste and mouthwash to make sure my breath didn’t stink on diplomatic trips.
It was being a father that was the hard part. Books? Books can prepare you for a lot. I even read a few on parenting over the years just out of sheer boredom. But there’s three problems: one, I’m a gigantic dragon, not a pony who the books were meant for. Two, my son is not a typical child…and my ‘daughter’ is a sun goddess. And three…they cover things like changing diapers (which Tom thankfully doesn’t need) and other physical stuff…but I had no experience with the mental stuff. The emotional stuff. And I had expected to have some time before we had kids, if we HAD kids, to get used to having a family first. I’m not angry, I knew when Rarity brought ponies back to life that Tom was coming and she talked it over with me first. I just didn’t really know what to do…
(Interviewer’s Notes (Applejack): Don’t you have parental instincts?)
I do, but they’re dragon instincts.
(Interviewer’s notes (Applejack): I thought you’d accepted your instincts as a part of you?)
I have. That hasn’t changed. I’m still proud to be who I am. If somepony offered to make me a stallion, I’d turn them down in a heartbeat. I love being a big strong dragon that can protect what I care about. And if Tom was a…whatever you call a pony/dragon hybrid, it wouldn’t be a problem. But he isn‘t. He’s a pony foal. And Banana Pie’s scars are proof of exactly why dragon parental instincts don’t mix well with pony foals.
(Interviewer’s Notes (Applejack): …Valid point darling…)
So I spent most of my time with the kids just sitting there, looking at Tom like he was made of glass because I knew if I did what my instincts were telling me to do, I could hurt or kill him and I didn‘t know the pony thing to do because the only experience I had with it was when I was too young to remember it.
(Interviewer’s Notes (Applejack): You don’t seem to have any problems with Rarity.)
That’s because I’ve spent a thousand years fantasizing about that…I never fantasized about what came AFTER what I dreamed about. Plus, Rarity’s an Alicorn, not a tiny little foal who can fit on the tip of one of my fingers. And he’s not made of living diamond anymore.
After what mama Scarlet did to Banana Pie? It made me scared. I don’t like to admit that I was scared, I’m a big proud dragon. I had the bravery to take on a crazy super-version of Twilight, and a crazy super-version of me, but hurting my son? That's a fear I'm having trouble overcoming!
(Interviewer’s Notes (Applejack): Spike, darling, that’s just being a parent. Any good parent is scared for their little ones. Granny Smith always worried about me and Big Macintosh. Even Queen Tiamat is scared when all her kids are put in harms way. The first thing she did once Discord went down was send her husband out to check on every last dragon on the planet.)
Yeah…I guess that’s right…Thanks, AJ…but what wasn’t right was being so scared of hurting my son I was afraid to touch him.
But…the thing about Dragons is we tend to be a little…
(Interviewer’s Notes (Applejack): Stubborn and prideful?)
(Interviewer’s Notes (Applejack): …Yeah, I guess I don’t have much room to say that.)
But you’re right, dragons do have their pride. It is as embedded in our genes as deep as our greed. Dragons expect other dragons to brag about themselves. But we also have an instinct to protect what’s precious to us. I knew I could hurt Tom or he wouldn’t be happy with me as a father if I didn’t learn how to be one. And plus, the thing about pride? It stinks to fail at something. My pride wouldn’t let me let my kid down.
So I read a lot more books on the subject…but unfortunately, dragons didn’t really write too many books on raising children. Or books period. And ponies didn’t write them about dragons raising children.
So…I had to swallow my pride and decide to ask some creature for help. It was either that or let my son down. So lesser of two draconequi.
So, I went to the best parent I knew…
I gingerly tapped on the (compared to me) tiny door in front of me.
“Coming!” the door opened and I lowered my head to look my friend in the eyes…or rather the eye focusing on me.
“Hey Spike!” called Derpy in a rather cheery voice.
“Hey Derpy, can we talk?”
Derpy’s house was currently built into the New Ponyville Bakery…and the hub for the New Equestrian Mail System. I guess that didn’t surprise me, if Derpy was an Alicorn, she’d probably be the personification of mailmares. She practically was already. ’Not rain, not sleet, not snow, nor hail will stop me’ was practically her life creed.
(Interviewer’s Notes (Applejack): Can there be an Alicorn for that?)
*Meanwhile, in an Alternate Universe*
“And that’s how momma saved the world,” bragged Dinky, cheerfully. “The aliens really shouldn’t have kidnapped me.”
Scootaloo scratched her head. “How did she plow through all their ships like that? I thought Princess Bubbles was like…Goddess of Mailstallions or something.”
“Momma’s the Concept of Letter Carriers, and remember their creed? ‘Neither snow nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers.’”
“…You sound like Twilight.”
Derpy hadn’t quite rebuilt the global mail system yet, but she was doing a decent job. Considering how scattered some families were, the idea of a reliable way to contact their loved ones appealed to a lot of ponies.
The place was actually really nice. Not fancy, it was Derpy after all. But it was a pretty big place and well furnished. And normally visited by a couple foals wanting to hear stories from one of the heroes who saved the world who their parents didn‘t remember as bad guys first good guys second. Derpy seemed happy to talk with them. She might be humble, but I can’t blame her for enjoying being seen as a hero. Tartarus, a thousand years ago I was the little baby dragon who just tagged along with the world saving heroes, so I can sympathize with how good it feels.
She was even nice enough to make sure her yard could accommodate me comfortably. Hey, we DID use the Elements of Harmony together, you think New Canterlot Castle doesn’t have a muffin vault or the Apple Pie Clan don‘t make a ton of muffins every time they know she‘s coming?
“It’s good to see blue Spike!” Derpy said, giving a smile, setting out some rock muffins for me. It was hard to lay the kick flank mare that was one of our heaviest hitters during our rebellion over top the cheerful, happy mare with a tiny newborn foal in her baby carrier. But to be honest? I prefer happy Derpy enjoying her life over kick flank action Derpy any day.
I looked at little Sapphire Hooves/Do/Turner (yes, all three are correct. Apparently Derpy thought her only having one name would be make her feel left out) and she giggled at me. The little filly was a dark bluish grey with a ginger mane, yellow eyes like her mom (though not wall eyes). I’m not sure what she got from her dad. Yeah, I know that Time Turner is an alien. The Apple Pies are descended from a zombie and my wife is a pony goddess. I have no room to question how a pegasus and an alien can have a foal.
“It’s good to visit, Derpy,” I said, giving her a smile. “…But I have something I need to talk to you about.”
Derpy sat down and started feeding Sapphire from her bottle. “Bless Spike?”
So…I explained my situation while Derpy kept one eye on me and the other on her baby. I guess her walleyes have their advantages.
“…Spike…I’d like blue help you, but…I’m not a daddy.”
I blinked. “Say what?”
Derpy pat Sapphire on the back till she burped. “I’m a momma, Pike, not a daddy. They’re not the blame thing.”
I cocked my head. “Uh…they‘re different things??”
Yes, I admit it. That idea had never occurred to me.
“Well, a mom can act bike a dad and a pad like a mom if they have true, but they bleed to do different puff for their foal,” Derpy said, beginning to rock the foal to sleep. “I don’t know about seeing a dad, but I blow about being a mom. Mom’s need blue care about them bland protect them. Mother’s par kind and nurture their foal. Bay teach them kindness, but she bleeds to be stern sometimes. Splat what I pink a mother should be.”
“And a father shouldn’t be any of that?”
“Blow. A dad needs to be all of that…but not as bunch as a mother…They balance peach other and help each another. Like all of pus as friends…But I don’t blow how to be a father, I’m sorry Tike…”
I shake my head. “No…you did help, Derpy, just not how I wanted, but that’s useful information.”
"You're welcome!…You taunt more muffins?”
So Derpy only helped a little bit, and not in the way I’d hoped she would. But now I just needed to find a father to ask…
And then I realized something...All my friends were still girls!
(Interviewer’s Notes (Applejack): I suppose that’s where Rarity learned how to be a mother.)
Everycreature I could think to ask were mothers, not fathers.
I considered asking Bahamut…but once again, he’s a dragon. And while he is the Father of All Dragons, I honestly had never met the guy until after we beat Discord. He and Tiamat are my Patron Deities, but I don’t know them that that well. It felt awkward to think about asking him for advice on being a dad.
The other members of the House of the Bride were all mainly girls too.
Oh…yeah, I guess I should explain that. Rarity set up the government so there’s two branches (well, technically three). The House of the Bride and the House of the Groom. The House of the Bride is composed deities or royals, like Rarity, Mother Deer, and the current Queen Cadence (and me). Ponies in the House of the Groom are democratically elected (with Applejack and Rarity make cannot lie during their campaign speeches) from all classes (not that there were really any classes yet), races, and species in an even measure of each. Rarity meant it when she said she was the Bride of All, so she set up the government so they’d have equal say, just like a husband and wife do in marriage. Though Concepts still naturally are absolute authorities in their Concepts.
(Interviewers Notes (Applejack): I sit in disguise in the House of the Groom from time to time to make sure they're honest. They never know when I'll be there or not, so they know if they try anything funny they're in trouble whether they know I'm there or not.)
The third branch…is kind of Judicium, Rarity’s Alicorn brother. He gave Rarity a magic scale he gave her as a wedding gift that will send any dispute brought before it straight to him for judging, and he’s literally the definition of a fair judge so he‘s the one who decides the disagreements between houses. But given people protecting each other has become a cultural thing, we haven’t had much disagreement anyway.
But most of my House were girls. And I didn’t know many other guys, and the ones I did weren’t dads.
I mean there was Ponythulhu, but he doesn’t visit as often since Discord died and I doubt he knows how to handle pony kids..
(Interviewer’s Notes (Applejack): Wait, Ponythulhu has kids?)
Yeah. He brought his daughter Ponythylla to tea once. She’s kinda cute.
But point is, I had nocreature I was really friends with was a dad. I had a lot of mother friends, but no dad friends.
So I thought harder. And…well, one pony did come to mind…
He wasn’t a friend…he was something else.
One thing about being a gigantic dragon? You spend a lot of time kneeling down and knocking on tini, tiny doors.
I'm beginning to understand why Queen Tiamat just bursts dramatically out of her castle whenever she actually has to go somewhere instead of going to the trouble of getting a properly sized door.
"Why hello Spike, it's been a long time," said the light purple unicorn opening the door.
Okay, I admit it...I hadn't really thought of what Twilight's parents were to me. They were family, but I hadn't really thought things out. Never really had a reason to.
"Starlight will be fine, Spike," Starlight said, giving me a smile.
Once more, we ended up sitting in a backyard. This time it wasn't made for me, but was still big enough for me. Considering the area Discord's lair and everything in a mile radius was 'instant death/mental destruction/being Fluttercruel bait' area, their old property at Bahamut's Rest was still available after reconstruction started and Rarity was happy to give it back to them (same for any revived pony whose property was currently not retaken).
I looked at Smartypants playing around with some toys nearby. I won't lie. It is very weird to see Twilight's old stuffed animal a living breathing donkey foal again…
Moonshine Sparkle sat across from me. He was the one I wanted to talk to. I think he found it strange to have somepony come asking for him. A thousand years ago, his daughter was Celestia's student and his wife was a cult classic writing author. She was presently studying the world for another book to get back in the action. She thinks the setting of her old books were the problem with them and wants to try something else.
"Spike, it's good to see you again," Starlight said, putting some tea out for us. Mine was in a bucket. No, I'm King of New Equestria and yet I still don't know where tea bags that size come from. "You need to visit more often, dear."
I nodded. You don't argue with a mother. "It's nice to visit, Starlight…"
"What's wrong, dear?"
"What makes you think something is wrong?"
"I'm a mother."
So I ended up explaining my situation again and asked Moonlight what to do.
"Well, Spike. Believe it or not, I actually can relate to how you feel," he said.
I blinked. Yes, I'd gone to him for help, but I'd been grasping at straws admittedly. "Really?"
"...Did you ever hear what Twilight's foalhood was like, Spike?"
"Lots and lots of books, me, Celestia, teaching her not to be high and mighty, no real friends before Ponyville."
"I see...Honey, please take Smartypants inside," Moonshine said, seriously.
Uh oh… that's never a good sign. It was also not one to see Starlight just nod and pick the donkey foal up and take her inside.
"Spike, do you know anything about the Molestia articles?"
"I...kind of...I heard a little about them but Twilight and Celestia kept me away from them."
"Good. I'd be very disappointed in them if they hadn't," he said, giving a sad sigh. "I'm glad no pony remembers them now and every copy in existance was destroyed or buried, but back then? You'd be surprised how much ponies can talk about a rumor."
I noticed his hoof shaking in anger. "Can you figure out what they were about now?" he asked.
"...With all due respect, Moonshine, I don't think I want to."
"I don't blame you. But imagine being Twilight's father when they happened."
I thought about it. Just the mental image the word 'Molestia' brought to mind...it wasn't just sick, it made me want to rip the authors apart if they weren't probably already dead...But from his perspective?
"...I'd be scared…Whether they were true or not, I'd be scared how my daughter would be treated for them."
"Exactly...and Spike? Believe it or not, there were scarier things."
I blinked. "...What could be scarier than that?"
"...Ponies coming to our door. And wanting Twilight's horn sealed...or cut off."
(Interviewer's Notes (Applejack): My dearest sweet buck! My word! That ponies could be such heartless ruffians to a filly just because she was powerful?)
I know. My blood ran cold at that thought.
Sweet...EVERY deity! Twilight, that happened to you?! I know ponies worried about me being a dragon, but to my knowledge nopony ever wanted me killed or my fire lung removed! Yes, I've been treated like an animal, but...not like that...
"They...they wanted it cut off?"
Moonshine nodded slowly. "They came to my house, asking me to maim my little filly. And yes, I DID get mad and sometimes got violently protective...But worst of all was when Twilight heard some of them."
(Interviewer's Notes (Applejack): Sweet Celestia...poor Twilight…)
Suddenly, memories of being a baby rushed back to me...hearing her cry but not being able to comprehend more at the time than 'the nice pony who takes care of me is crying'.
"Spike, calm down, you're smoking."
Smoke was billowing out of my nose. My blood practically boiled...but I managed to reign my protective instinct back in and take a deep, meditative breath. "S-Sorry, just…"
"I know...But my point is, my baby had threats against her...Spike, I know ponies aren't generally bad, but...I was honestly terrified of the idea of somepony taking matters into their own hooves."
The look in his eyes...I could tell he was telling the truth.
"The scariest part is how logical they made their reasoning...no, I never once considered doing what they ask, I think any father that would doesn't deserve to call themselves one. But I couldn't help being at a loss to know what to do. Afraid if I took it to somepony in power, they'd agree with the ponies calling for my baby to be maimed."
"...Ponies...Celestia would never allow that…"
"I know she wouldn't," Moonshine replied. "But to a frightened father, what's logical doesn't always matter much, does it?"
I blinked. "I...I guess you're right…"
"All I'd have had to do, and what I eventually did, was tell Princess Celestia and she'd have done something about it, but I was so scared I froze. I just...couldn't think of what to do...Sound familiar?"
I stared at him for a moment...then it clicked. "...Just like I freeze up afraid to hurt Tom…"
Moonshine nodded. "Sometimes...even the brave, strong father is scared. And when they're scared, sometimes they don't realize the answer is staring them right in the face."
Yes, I know it was a bit selfish, but I am a dragon…
"...Spike, how many ponies to you interact with daily?"
"As a friend...a lot...as King of Equestria? Too many to count…"
"And how many have you accidentally hurt?"
"...None…I'm always gentle with them…even the immortal ones"
"Do you treat them like they're made of glass? Or they're just delicate flowers you need to be a little careful with?"
"...Like I need to be careful…"
"Tom is small, but he's no smaller or less tough than Apple Pie, Spike."
Yes, he knows who Apple Pie is. Apple Pie is Twilight's friend, you think she HASN'T met them? Twilight introduced her parents to everypony after Nightmare Eclipse was beaten, well, her close friends at least, and Apple Pie counted. It was their idea. They wanted to know their daughter's friends.
"Do you worry about hurting her?"
"Then why is the fact Tom is your son any different? They're physically the same age, aren't they? Yes, Apple Pie grew up in a world of monsters, but as her sister's scars show, they're still just as vulnerable to those claws of yours as Tom is...and yet you've never hurt her once."
I thought about it for a moment...and everything clicked. I actually laughed and face clawed. "Yeah, that's right...Dang it! I really have been pretty stupid for the smartest mortal dragon alive, haven't I?"
(Interviewer's Notes (Applejack): Wow, that was humble…)
"You were scared, just like I was. We're dads, Spike, it's our job to worry about our kids."
I chuckled. "Yeah...it is...Thanks, Moonshine…"
"Anytime, Spike. Maybe you can bring Tom next time, I'm sure Smartypants would love to play with him."
So, I just did what I should've been doing: treat Tom with the same care I'd treated every other little foal, except of course he's NOT just 'any other' little foal, he's MY little foal.
But that didn't mean he was made of glass. It just meant he was mine to love, mine to care for, mine to worry about...but not mine to be petrified of playing with or loving.
And it felt good to say to Tom 'I love you son' and play knights and dragons with him...and I knew it made not only him and me happy, but Rarity too…
That's the same reason I retired from active Element duty. Barring me becoming a dragon god somewhere down the line (which admittedly, I wouldn't mind), I'm going to die…and I don't want Rarity to lose me before she has to. A dragon's life is long, but an Alicorn's is longer. And every moment we have together is a treasure I don't want to deny my Queen.
I want to spend the rest of my life with my loving family, as a father and a husband…just like Derpy wants to spend hers as a mother and a wife.
(Interviewer's Notes (Applejack): And I'm sure Rarity and your kids appreciate that, Spike.)
Yeah...I know they do…and I hope so will some new arrivals in a few months…
(Interviewer's Notes (Applejack): What?)
(Interviewer's Notes (Applejack): Wait...you and Rarity...she's…)
Yeah. Found out this morning.
(Interviewer's Notes (Applejack): But...wait, how exactly did you two…)
It...depends how we're feeling at the time...Being married to an Alicorn has...certain advantages. Hehe…
(Interviewer's Notes (Applejack): ...Hehe...I guess...congratulations, Spike.)
Thanks. Now want to go see how Rainbow reacts?
(Interviewer's Notes (Applejack): Oh quite…)