Learning to Forgive
Chapter Three: Redemption
Spike slept peacefully until suddenly he heard his bedroom door open. Instantly he was catapulted into conciseness, but upon realizing his surroundings, he quickly inferred that it was most likely Twilight, so he closed his eyes and started to drift back into a rather pleasant dream. However, this state would prove to be very brief, for the second the young dragon felt a pair of lips upon his cheek, his eyes shot open.
Spike tried his best not to move for both of their sakes, for he could not imagine how awkward that moment of realization would be. Nonetheless, he did look to the nearby wall to see a dim silhouette trotting away from him, but at this angle it was hard to say whose. Then, almost on cue, the pony turned sideways, presumably to look at Spike’s sleeping form once more. Instantly the mane’s shadow was recognizable.
The young dragon lay still for a moment or more after the door had closed, and then sat up. Slowly he brought his claw to his cheek and looked towards the door. “Twilight?”
As morning broke, a lavender Alicorn could be found rushing through her small kitchen. Normally she would have asked a royal servant to prepare something, but today was different, today was special.
A wide smile broke across Twilight’s face as she opened the oven and pulled out a large golden-brown cake. She had prepared it with one half vanilla-strawberry flavored, the other vanilla-emerald. Twilight figured it would be a good excuse to have a meal together and maybe bring about more conversation. Now of course she was opposed to the idea of one having cake for breakfast, but she remembered how long ago in Ponyville, she had always made Spike his favorite cake for breakfast on very special occasions and hoped it would bring back good memories.
Just then, a young dragon came walking into the kitchen with a groggy smile on his face. He could smell a gem cake a mile away and nothing would stop him from getting a piece. Spike lifted a claw to his eye and began to rub as a faint yawn escaped his lips. “Good morning Tw-“ Suddenly every memory from the night prior came rushing back to Spike, but that isn’t what stunned him the most. There before him was Twilight; her mane done in as style that perfectly suited her, her eyelashes straightened, and a light blush that Spike couldn’t tell if it was from her makeup or simply seeing him. However, what caught his eye the most was the dress she was wearing. It was a simple yellow dress that their friend Rarity had made for her many years ago. All at once he remembered that day. Twilight had moved her birthday to Canterlot which had of course upset Spike, since he couldn’t attend, but he remembered the following days when he and Twilight did everything he suggested. Nearly every day they did something fun together she had that dress on. Then he remembered telling her how cute she looked in it. At that memory, Spike began to smile, for this fact remained the same.
“Tw-Twilight you look beautiful,” he said with a blush.
Twilight smiled and turned a deep crimson. Of course she was embarrassed, but Spike noticed that her expression was suggesting something else was present as well. “Thanks Spike.”
Turning away Twilight lifted up the cake tin behind her, but she took a little longer than was needed, secretly relishing in her best friend’s statement. Then, just before any suspicions were raised, she turned back to the table and levitated the trey to its center.
“Um, you want some?” she asked with a slight giggle.
Instantly Spike was awaken from his inner daydream of admiration. “What? Uh, yeah,” he said nervously, still unable to believe that he’d somehow forgotten the entire reason he came into the kitchen.
The lavender Alicorn giggled and proceeded to magically split the pastry. Even as she levitated each piece to their individual plates, Spike didn’t break his gaze for a second. He thought each newfound sensation rather odd. After all, it was Twilight who he was perplexed by, his best friend, yet he looked at her as he once did at Rarity. Spike even began to feel the same as he did when he first became infatuated with her, but with Twilight something was different.
Twilight seemed completely oblivious to this as she cut apart her slice of cake. After taking a bite, she looked over to Spike and asked “So, do you want to see Princess Celestia today? I’m sure she’ll be overjoyed to see you.”
Once again, Twilight interrupted his stare, but this time Spike was more prepared and able to play it off. “Oh, uh no, not today.” However, what Spike was to say next he couldn’t play off as easily. “I was thinking we could maybe go out tonight.”
Twilight’s eyes widened and the bit of food she was currently swallowing threatened to choke her. She coughed a little, earning her a concerned look from Spike, but quickly recovered.
“You mean, as in a date?” she asked a little louder and more forcefully than she meant. Instantly she began inwardly scolding herself for not showing the least bit of joy she was feeling.
Spike frantically waved his arms in a dismissive gesture. “Oh no! I mean just as friends, Twi.” But despite his reaction, Spike was rather hurt by being shot down so quickly.
Instantly, Twilight could feel her inner happiness fade to sorrow. “Oh, okay. I just thought… Never mind.”
Needless to say, the rest of that breakfast was awkward from then on; though hopefully things will begin to turn around soon. Hopefully.
Spike was sitting in his room, still a little sad about Twilight’s reaction at breakfast, but he was busy entertaining himself with his past memories, for he was flipping through an old photo album of him and Twilight when they were young. He guessed that Twilight had put them in his room after running out of space; however he found the idea of the Twilight Sparkle running out of room for books quite humorous.
Many of the pictures he found rather amusing, but there were a few that made him feel warm inside as memories from long ago came rushing back. After a while he had gone through all of the photos, so he picked up another photo album. This one seemed newer than the rest so he was of course eager to look through it.
The first few pages were from when they had lived in Ponyville, but the rest of it was from their time together in the city. Back then it was just the two of them, no elements of harmony, just Twilight. He smiled, thinking of how each page seemed to reveal more and more of her beauty the older she got. Then, without warning, the happy photos came to an abrupt stop. He flipped through a few more pages, only confirming the lack of pictures from that point on. He found it odd of Twilight to leave an album unfinished, so he flipped back to the page of the last photo to look at it closer. He remembered this one. It was of him and Twilight in Manehatten Square. It was taken four days before he left. Spike could feel sorrow beginning to grip him as he looked at their happy expressions.
‘I’ve gotta do more than just make this right,’ he thought.
Twilight lay curled up on her bed, hooves wrapped around her pillow, her face buried into it. She wanted to yell at herself, but she didn’t want to risk Spike hearing, so she did the next best thing; she mentally scolded herself.
‘Twilight! You stupid filly! Just tell him how you feel? Nope! You have to go and scream at him. Dear goddesses you’re a failure! An absolute disgrace! How could you! You’re worthless!’ she thought.
Unknown to Spike, Twilight’s crush had begun to develop a few years after he had left. At first all she could feel was sadness, anger, and hate, but not for Spike; for herself. She blamed herself for everything. She blamed herself for becoming a princess, for moving, for getting too involved in her job, for neglecting Spike, and more than anything, that night. For weeks she would come home and start talking expecting a reply, only to realize she was alone. The feeling she’d get each time this happened was crushing. At one point she even thought of suicide, but she knew she couldn’t do that to her friends and family, so she pushed that thought away.
Years later she began to notice her emotions changing. She knew she was sorry, she knew she missed Spike, but she didn’t know how deeply until recently. It was a miracle that she managed to still look professional for Equestria when each day she’d cry herself to sleep. Every day would seem to grow darker and darker, until one day everything changed. She started to feel something for Spike, but as habit, she did her best to suppress it. However, this emotion only grew, fed by her sorrow and anger, but now that Spike had returned all of the other feelings were replaced, all except for one.
Suddenly, Twilight heard her door begin to creak open. She knew she had told Spike that she was going to take a nap, so she decided to seem as though she were asleep, even if her position looked somewhat odd. Hearing Spike let out a light chuckle made Twilight wish she had simply laid on her stomach, but this thought was quickly interrupted when he began to Speak.
“Hey Twilight, you awake?”
Twilight thought it would be best to ignore him, and she was indeed correct.
“I guess I’ll take that as a no.” There was a brief pause. “You wanna know something Twi? Each day I was in Stalliongrad I thought about you and every single night I’d dream about you. It’s always the same one too. That day… I don’t know what kept me from coming back. It’s all just so stupid when you really think about it.”
Twilight could hear the floor creak as Spike’s voice drew closer.
“And I think you should know something. This morning when I saw you, I couldn’t believe it. You just looked so beautiful, way better than Rarity ever did. And there’s something else.”
Spike’s voice was now right next to Twilight.
“Last night when you kissed me, I was awake.”
Twilight bit down hard on her tongue trying not to scream in terror. ‘Oh dear goddesses!’ she thought. ‘Please no! Please don’t let this be happening!’
“And to be honest, I liked it. And seeing you this morning made me feel something. I don’t know why I never noticed it before, but I think… I love you.”
Twilight could feel her heart skip a beat and her eyes begin to fill with tears, but she didn’t know if the young dragon was done speaking so she dared not move a muscle. Never in her life had she been happier about a decision, for seconds later she could feel Spike brush some of her mane out of her face and press his lips against her cheek. At this point her pillow was wet with tears.
After a moment, Twilight could hear Spike’s footsteps beginning to walk away from her, but for some unknown reason she just couldn’t let him leave without telling him how she felt. She wasn’t going to let this one slip through her hooves. Just as Spike grasped the doorknob, she let out a faint whisper.
“I love you too.”
Instantly Spike froze. He could feel all blood leave his face and his hands grow sweaty in a fraction of a second. Slowly, the terrified dragon turned back to see Twilight sitting up on her bed smiling at him with a tear soaked face.
“And I was awake too,” she said with a giggle.
Spike smiled slightly. “I can see that.”
For the next few seconds the pair just stood there looking at each other. Each both terrified and overjoyed by what the other had said. Then suddenly, both of them darted towards each other. The instant they met time seemed to stop around them. They knew from this point on nothing would ever be the same, but they also knew it would only be for the better.
As Twilight buried her face into Spike’s chest, she wept. “You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to hear those words.”
Spike smiled and held her a little closer. “So, you wanna go on that date later?” he asked with a chuckle.
Twilight let out a giggle threw her tears. “What do you think?!”
The new couple shared a laugh before Spike pulled back slightly. Twilight looked up at him with an expecting smile, already knowing what comes next. Slowly the two began to lean forward until their lips finally met. In that instant absolutely nothing else seemed to matter, but each other.