Learning to Forgive
Chapter Five: Light on the Horizon
The couple abruptly parted lips and looked to the voice’s source.
“Cadence?!” shouted Spike.
Before the young dragon could even react, he was wrapped in the tight embrace of the Alicorn. “Oh my goddesses, it is you! I’ve missed you so much!” Visible tears were beginning to form around the edges of her eyes.
Spike chuckled and returned the embrace. “I’ve missed you too, Cadence.”
Princess Cadence slowly broke the hug and took a step back. “Where have you been? We looked all over for you.”
“Staliongrad, I’ve been working as a miner outside the city.”
Cadence giggled. “I always knew you’d want something to do with rocks, after all, you’d dig up auntie Celestia’s garden in search of dinosaurs every other week. Oh, she must be so happy you’re back!”
“Actually she doesn’t know,” chimed in Twilight.
Princess Cadence shot her a grin. “I take it she doesn’t know something else either.”
Spike and Twilight both began to blush.
“Uh yeah, could we keep that a secret for now?” asked Spike. “It’s bad enough on her with the Zebricans and Hooviets at each other’s throat, over this trade deal. Finding out her son is with her student might test her immortality.”
The Alicorn smiled. “Of course, Spike… Though, I do expect you both to fill me in on all the adorable details. After all, I am the princess of love.”
The couple blushed. “Soon, Cadence,” replied Twilight with a slight smile.
“Well, I was on my way to see Celestia now. Would you like to pay her a visit? I’m sure you’d help lift her spirits, Spike.”
Twilight and Spike both exchanged glances before Spike began to smile. “I don’t see why not.”
As the trio approached the massive wooden doors of the throne room, they could hear what sounded to be yells. Once they were just outside, it was clear that Celestia was the one doing the shouting.
“Consider this diplomatic session over! You and your president have no right to do such a thing! If you don’t comply with what I have asked, there will be swift and drastic consequences for us all!”
A few seconds later, a zebra with an extremely frustrated expression stormed through the doors, and past the three.
After bearing witness to Celestia’s tirade, Cadence was the only one brave enough to enter the room. Princess Celestia was almost ready to snap at her, but upon realizing who it was, she quickly bit her tongue.
“Tough day I take it?” she asked with a comforting smile.
Celestia chuckled. “Indeed, the Zebras are seconds away from invading an ally of the Hooviets, while both countries are prepping their missiles. It’s insane!”
“I’m sure you’ll figure it out auntie, you always do.”
Princess Celestia smiled. “Thank you, Cadence, though at this rate I suggest you go back to the Crystal Empire.”
She raised her brow. “And be subject to all of that fallout? I’d prefer to be blown to bits, to be honest… Anyways, I found something that I’m sure will help clear your head.”
Princess Celestia’s face took on a confused expression. “You have?”
Cadence couldn’t resist an oncoming smile. “You can come in now!” she called.
Slowly, the doors began to creek open. When they were just large enough to admit a single pony, a purple dragon stepped through. The two locked gazes for a moment, the shock clearly visible on Celestia’s expression.
“Hi, mom,” Spike said shyly.
In a single second, the usually calm and collected mare leapt out of her throne and galloped over to Spike. The ensuing hug was enough to rival Twilight’s previous one.
Spike returned the embrace, but as he did so, he could feel the princesses’ tears fall upon him. “I-I-I’ve missed you so much, Spike,” she said with a cracking voice.
He smiled and leaned into the embrace a little more. “I’ve missed you too.”
The majestic mare’s crying was beginning to turn into a sob. “Never do that to me again, Spike. Never.”
Spike was now beginning to tear up as well, though his tears were mostly because of regret. “I won’t, I promise. I love you.”
Princess Celestia smiled before kissing him on the forehead. “I love you too.”
Suddenly, the doors flew open as a grey stallion shot past Twilight and Cadence and over to Celestia. He hesitated upon seeing the scene before him, but his message was far too important to be disregarded.
“Your majesty!” he shouted. “I request to speak with you in private immediately!”
The princess looked up and wiped away a few tears. “It’s fine, you may say whatever you have to tell me before them as well.”
He nodded. “Very well, your majesty. Three hours ago, we received intelligence from the Union of Hooviet Socialist Republics that they have spotted a dozen fire spell missiles along their border with the United Griffin Kingdom. They went on to say that they also found a series of missiles along Equestria’s borders as well. Our intelligence has just confirmed this. In response, the Hooviet Union has begun prepping missiles on an ally island off the Zebrican coast.”
The whole room grew deathly silent. Several seconds passed before anyone spoke.
“Are they being fueled?” asked Celestia.
“Yes, they were fueling the missiles, your majesty.”
Celestia stood and took a step away from Spike. “Begin fueling all of our missiles.”
Spike and Twilight sat atop the balcony overlooking the city. The two sat in silence for several minutes before Spike placed his claw atop hers.
“Do you think they’ll actually do it?” he asked.
Twilight sighed. “I don’t know. Celestia would avoid it at all costs, but she’ll be the last to blink, that I know.”
“And if no one blinks?”
Twilight rested her head atop Spike’s shoulder. “Then you know what happens, but if it happens I’ll be okay, because I’ll be right here with you through it all.”
Spike looked over to her and pressed his lips to her forehead. “I’m not okay with it. It wouldn’t be fair to have all of this cut short. I mean, we haven’t even gotten married yet.”
Those words caused both Twilight’s and Spike’s eyes to widen.
Twilight slowly lifted her head off of Spike’s shoulders until they were looking directly at each other. “You mean you want to… do that?”
Spike hesitated a moment, trying to think of the right words. “Well, I didn’t mean right this moment, but it is something on my to do list.”
Twilight wrapped a hoof around Spike, before leaning into his chest. “Well, would you like an early answer?”
He lifted his claw to her mane and began to gently stroke it. “Despite the fact that I have a pretty good idea of what it’ll be, I think I’ll just wait until the right time.”
Twilight nuzzled him slightly. “You’re the perfect gentledrake, Spike.”
Spike chuckled. “Now who’s the one lying?”
Princess Twilight smiled.
A few seconds passed with the two continuing to wrap each other in affection, when a sudden thought crossed Spike’s mind. He wanted to brush it off like he had been, but with the Zebricans’ missiles bearing down on him, he may not get another chance.
“Hey Twi, when I was gone, did you see anypony else? A certain royal guard in particular?”
Twilight’s cheeks began to flush red from embarrassment. “Yes, Flash Sentry was there for me after you left, but it didn’t take me long to begin to see his flaws.”
Spike raised his brow. “Oh?”
“He was just, I don’t know, rude about the whole ordeal. It was almost like he was acting as if you were my bad ex or something. I knew his intentions were good, but he just wasn’t going about it the right way. But trust me, that got him friend zoned so quick that nothing happened.”
“So, I’m still-“
“Yes,” interrupted Twilight. “You were still my first kiss.”
The dragon let out a mental sigh of relief.
Just then, Cadence stepped out onto the balcony. She looked over to them and smiled.
“Mind if I join?”
Twilight smiled and made room for her to sit next to them. “No, not at all.”
The Alicorn sighed as she took a seat. “Well, I have some good news; the zebras just want to keep talking for now, so the key may be in, but the button has yet to be pressed.”
Twilight nodded. “So, what are your plans if the missiles start flying?”
Cadence chuckled. “I’m going to run into the middle of town and hope that I catch one. I mean that’s got to be a fun way to go.” She then looked over to Twilight and Spike before laughing slightly. “I would ask what you two would do, but I think I have a pretty good idea.”
Princess Twilight made a confused expression. “Wait, I don’t get-“ Her face suddenly turned bright red. “Oh my goddesses, Cadence!”
The elder Alicorn couldn’t help but laugh.
Spike put a claw to his chin. “Yeah, that actually sounds about right.”
“Spike!” shouted Twilight.
By now Cadence was dying from laughter. Spike couldn’t help but join in upon seeing Twilight’s embarrassed expression.
Once everyone’s laughter had died down, Cadence decided to take the conversation in a quite different direction. “Well, when you two get married, I promise to throw you the best wedding ever, after all, I learned from the best.”
Twilight briefly thought that perhaps Princess Cadence may have been listening to her and Spike’s conversation, but instead assumed it was just Cadence being Cadence. “We’ll call you when the time comes,” she replied with a smile.
A few hours after Celestia lowered the sun for Luna’s moon, Twilight crawled into bed for the night. She tried her best to force the thoughts of the hectic day and future from her head, but was quickly realizing that it was a futile battle. That is until her key ally exited the bathroom.
She smiled to him and lifted the sheets with her magic. As Spike adjusted the sheets to his liking, Twilight leaned over him and kissed the dragon. He still tasted of the minty flavor of toothpaste.
Spike couldn’t help but smile. “What was that for?”
Princess Twilight smirked. “The world could end at any given second, do I really need an excuse to kiss the dragon I’m in love with?”
Spike grinned. “Wow Twilight, you sure are the optimist.”
She rolled her eyes. “Whatever…” Twilight’s expression quickly took on a more serious tone, as a thought crept back into her mind. “Hey Spike, after what you and Cadence said today, I’ve been thinking a lot.”
Spike raised his brow. “About?”
Twilight looked away, slightly embarrassed. “Well, you know, the marriage thing.”
Spike nodded in full understanding. “What about it?”
Twilight looked down at her hooves. “Well, were you serious then?”
He smiled. “Of course I was serious. I love you, and I never want to leave you, so if you never want to leave someone, what’s the only natural thing to do?”
Twilight smiled. “I just wanted to be sure.” The Alicorn then laid down to face the window. “Hopefully there’ll be enough time though.”
Spike sighed before kissing Twilight on the cheek. He then proceeded to slide out of bed and look out over the city.
The lights of each building still shone bright, the ponies still trotted happily down the sidewalk, and the sound of carts rolling still filled the air. Though the news of the Zebrecian missile sites had been made public by now, the city still looked the same. That’s a bad habit all ponies share; the ability to completely deny that something is happening.
After a few seconds of focusing on the city below, the dragon looked off to the skyline and, from this height, was able to make out the dim lights of far off cities like Manehatten and Fillydelphia.
“What are you doing, Spike” she asked with confusion evident in her tone.
The dragon continued to stare out the window. “I’m just looking for something.”
“The first blasts on the horizon.”