Learning to Forgive
Chapter One: A Shattered Past
Six Years Ago-
A teenage dragon stared out of the window overlooking the Manehatten skyline. A grim look painted upon his face. How he desperately wished to go back to Ponyville, to see his friends, to live the way he used to, and above all to be happy.
He smiled slightly thinking of the days he would spend playing with the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Remembering how one day he and Scootaloo had attempted to go zip lining. Of course their attempt didn’t exactly end the way they had wished, but they still enjoyed their time together nonetheless. Then another thought appeared. A thought of a pony he hadn’t seen in ages; Rarity. How he would always find himself day dreaming of her and how kind she was. Finally he remembered the day Twilight became an Alicorn; the beginning of the end. Slowly a tear rolled down Spike’s face.
“I’m back, Spike,” called the familiar and cheerful voice of his friend.
Quickly, Spike wiped away his tear and turned around. Before him stood a pristine lavender Alicorn. Her crown shimmering beautifully in the moonlight, her dress tailored perfectly, and her mane curled in an absolutely stunning manor.
Spike smiled. “Hey Twilight, how did the meeting go?”
The lavender mare chuckled as she slid off her crown. “Well, the Hooviets and Zebras still hate each other, but I think we’re making progress.”
“Well, that’s good news at least.”
Twilight smiled briefly, but it quickly began to fade. “Spike, are you okay? You looked a little upset when I walked in.”
Spike sighed. “I was just thinking about Ponyville. It’s nice that we can still see it from here.”
Spike’s last sentence caused Twilight to recoil to some extent. She knew that what she was about to say would hurt Spike greatly, but how deeply it would hurt both of them could have never been foretold.
“Is something wrong with you, Twi?” Spike asked, cocking his head slightly.
The Alicorn sighed. “Listen Spike, we need to talk about something.”
The young dragon keyed in on her suddenly distressed tone, causing him to raise an eyebrow. “Like what?”
She bowed her head, trying to avoid Spike’s eyes. “I was just told by Celestia that we need to go to Vanhoover.”
Instantly Spike felt a rush of relief. “Oh, that’s it? How long?”
“That’s the thing. We’re not coming back to Manehatten.”
“What!” he shouted.
“I know, I know. But we have to go.”
“No we don’t!” Spike threw his arms up. “What’s next? We move to Saddle Arabia because you become an ambassador or something?! I mean Vanhoover is on the other side of the country! At least here our friends can visit!”
Realizing that this wasn’t going to resolved rationally, Twilight found herself going on the defensive. “Look Spike, I didn’t want to go either, but we have to! It’s my duty as a princess!”
“Your duty?! Your duty?! What about your duty to stay loyal to your friends! What about that?!”
Twilight gritted her teeth, feeling those words cut deep into her heart. “That was low, Spike. We both know why we had to leave.”
“Oh yeah, because your duties came first! Just like they always do!”
“When will you realize that I’m a princess, Spike! Things have to be sacrificed!”
“At the price of our friends?! For crying out loud, I sacrificed Rarity for you!”
“Oh not this again! We both know you didn’t have a chance in Tartarus with her!”
The young dragon clenched his fists, and with every moral fiber of Spike’s being, he resisted the urge to rip Twilight to pieces right then and there. However, this didn’t stop the small flames currently emanating from Spike’s nostrils. “Don’t you ever say that! You don’t know!”
As Twilight let herself slip deeper and deeper into a seething rage, she began to lose sight on what was right and began to transition her focus on one thing; hurting Spike. “You know what Spike, if you hate it here so much, why don’t you just leave!?”
Tears were beginning to form in the base of Spike’s eyes, for Twilight could have no comprehension of how deeply that hurt. It was as if those last two words able to rape his very heart. “Fine,” he replied calmly.
Spike awoke gasping. He quickly clutched his chest, trying to slow his breathing. Feeling a cold chill around him, he looked down to see his sheets covered in sweat. He let out an annoyed grown and slid out from underneath them.
“Looks like I’m not getting back to sleep tonight.”
As Spike began walking towards the bathroom, he caught sight of his alarm clock. It’s dim red lights read “4:50 AM”.
The now adult dragon looked into his mirror. His typically youthful purple scales now all but drained of their color. Each time he had dreamed of Twilight this would be the face that would greet him. However, this time it seemed to affect his appearance much more that it normally did.
Spike reached down and turned his sink to hot. Allowing the steaming water to pool in his hands, he took it and splashed it upon his face. It seemed to bring some color back to his features, but it was nowhere near normal.
Sighing, Spike walked out of his bathroom and flipped on the light switch. His room filled with light to reveal an ugly brown carpet, an old bed, and a window that overlooked the features of the next apartment ten feet away.
Walking over to his closet, Spike opened the doors and lifted up a blue, stained, jumpsuit. He sighed and took it off of the hanger.
“Looks like I’m going to work early today.”
Stepping off of the train, Spike looked above a cave with an opening held up by several large boards. Above it he saw a large black and white sign. “Stalliongrad Mine”
As he approached it, he stopped at a large metal grate. He flipped it open, looked to the clock inside, and wrote the time and his name on a board next to it. He was about to close the grate, but a tall grey stallion wearing the same uniform stopped him.
“Hey there Spike, let me at least clock out first,” he said with a thick Hooviet accent.
Spike smirked at his friend. “Don’t tell me you’re working nights now, Dimitri.”
The colt picked up the pen and began to write. “Does it really matter? When you’re down zere you can’t tell if it’s night or day.”
Spike shrugged. “Still nice to know it’s sunny outside, I guess.”
Dimitri grinned. “To be honest, I zink I see more sunshine zan any of zese ponies. I just sleep through it.”
The young dragon returned a smile. “Whatever you say night owl.”
“You’re just jealous that I can stay in ze clubs until closing!” he exclaimed with a chuckle.
Spike let out a laugh. “And yet you still can’t get a mare.”
“Oh look who’s talking mister only dragon in Stalliongrad.”
He chuckled a little more. “Well you go on home. I better get down there before I get a chewing from the boss.”
The colt nodded and handed Spike his helmet. “Da, I should. Well see ya, Spike.”
As the young dragon finished moving a large beam into place, he heard a familiar voice from behind him, however he couldn’t quite understand what was being said. Turning around he saw his old friend Sergey, a brown earth pony with a jet black mane.
“What are you deaf?” Sergey asked sarcastically. “I said come on, it’s our lunch break.”
“Give me a few more years of working in this place and I probably will be. What did ya bring?”
“Some potato soup and a sandwich.”
“And?” Spike insisted.
The brown stallion smirked. “And some rubies. I swear if I didn’t know any better I’d zink you were just my friend because I work on zat side of the mine.”
“Oh no Sergey,” Spike said jokingly. “I’m your friend because I’ve known you for five years… And you work on that side of the mine. Now let’s get out of here.”
Sergey rolled his eyes and turned towards the tunnels which lead to an exit.
As Spike stepped out of the mine and into the sunlight, his eyes stung slightly. Looking around, he saw that a few of the ponies on break were already outside. Suddenly he felt someone poke him in the side. Looking down, he saw Sergey holding out a cloth bag.
“You want it or not? Zis is heavy.”
Spike smiled and gladly took the sack. “Thanks.”
Trotting over to his usual seat, the brown cold sat down. He was soon followed by Spike as well.
“So Spike, you mind telling me what’s bothering you?”
Raising an eyebrow, he looked over to Sergey. “There’s nothing… Oh why do I even bother?”
Sergey smirked. “To waste my time apparently. I seem to be as good at detecting lies as your friend Applejack. Now you look like crap so what happened?”
Spike rolled his eyes. “Fine, I’ll tell you. I’ve been having dreams about Twilight again.”
“Ah, zis again. The good kind or bad?”
The young dragon made a confused expression. “What do you mean by- Oh good goddesses! Bad! They’re bad.”
Sergey couldn’t help but laugh. “Hey, you can never be sure with dreams.”
Again Spike rolled his eyes as he reached into the sack. Taking the first gem he could feel, he lifted it out of the bag and examined it. The ruby was a bright red, glissading in the sunlight; just looking at it made his mouth water.
“So, what happened this time?”
Spike took a large bight out of the gem and looked over to Sergey. “Same as last time. I keep dreaming of the night I left,” he said with a mouthful.
“Well, maybe zat should be telling you something.”
The young dragon swallowed down the gem shards. “Like what?”
“Zat maybe you shouldn’t have left.”
Spike sighed. “Well, it’s a little late for that.”
Sergey nodded. “True, but it’s never too late to go back.”
“Oh trust me Sergey, it is. You weren’t there.”
“Wanna bet? From what you’ve told me, she sounds like a nice mare; not one to hold a grudge.”
Spike looked down at his gem and dropped it back into the sack. “I don’t know, Sergey.” Suddenly he felt a hoof lay upon his shoulder.
“Well I do, Spike.”
As soon as Spike walked into his home, the first thing he did was turn on the radio. He figured some music would be good after today. At first he appeared to be right and even hummed along to a song he knew as he took off his uniform. However, as soon as the news started, his happier mood instantly fell flat.
“And in other news, princess Twilight Sparkle has managed to get both the Hooviet Union and the Zebra Empire to sign a trade agreement allowing both countries to exchange goods freely. This step will greatly improve relations between the two nations as well as improve Hooviet medical care and Zebra infrastructure. Also at the top of the hour, Twilight Sparkle has announced that-“
Before the reporter could finish his sentence, Spike reached over and flipped off the radio. He felt as though he had heard enough about a certain purple princess. Letting a yawn escape his lips, he assumed it was time for him to get some sleep instead. However, unknown to him, neither of these things would come to fruition.
Spike awoke gasping once again a mere three hours after going to sleep. Sighing, he threw the sheets off of him and laid his head into his claws. However, instead of feeling sad and angry like he normally would, Spike could only feel regret. He knew Sergey was right, but just didn’t want to face it, or her.
Despite that, he slowly turned to his night stand, but instead of looking at his clock, the first thing that caught his eye was the phone. Hesitantly, he reached for it and began to dial the number of the mine’s office. After a moment Dimitri answered.
“Hey Dimitri,” began Spike, “ I’m gonna use a few of my off days now. I need to visit an old friend.”
The stallion chuckled softly. “Are you finally going to see zat Canterlot mare?”
Spike smiled. “Yeah, I guess so.”
“Well good luck, my friend.”
“Thanks Dimitri, I’m gonna need it.”