The Most Important Moments

by Radiant Dawn

Chapter 1: The Most Important Moments

I used to think that knowing the future would provide a sort of freedom for mind, body, and soul. I thought that if maybe, just maybe if I could know what was going to happen next, and the unpredictability of life was taken away, I could feel so much more at ease with things. In fact, I spent many, many years in the study working on spells to allow such a thing.

Well, I received my peek into the future, but not in the way I had wished.

Hospitals became my new life, and a sick stone of fear and sadness in my stomach was my companion, day in, day out. It’s strange really, I’d always found doctors to be some of the most respectable and intelligent people around. Now though, their words did little to comfort me.

“I’m sorry, but it’s untreatable.”

I never thought a single sentence could change everything about my life in an instant. No longer was there such a thing as hope. Phrases that began with “one day” became meaningless, as every day became a countdown to the inevitable.

Most ponies never think about their own mortality until it is upon them, when they see the Reaper, come to take them into the great beyond. For me, he is around every corner, waiting patiently. There is so much more life to live, and so much to do. It doesn’t matter to him...he still waits patiently, never wandering, always watching.

The girls come to visit often, as do my parents, and even the princesses. I’m by no means lonely, but that might not necessarily be a good thing.

Every day I have to see their faces ‒ some of helplessness, some of grim resignation ‒ but the worst are the ones of hope. Fluttershy and Pinkie are the ones who don those hopeful faces when they visit, their belief that something can cure the incurable. It hurts more than anything to know that they’ll be disappointed.

Disappointment was all I knew. I saw it on the face of everyone who came to visit. I saw it on the doctor’s faces whenever they would come to check the readings on the many monitors in the room. I saw it on my own face when I looked in a mirror.

In this situation, I had turned to a pamphlet that outlined the Five Stages of Grief. I had taken psychology in high school, and Princess Celestia herself had tutored me personally most of the way as well. So it goes without saying that I knew the Five Stages of Grief like the back of my hand...or so I thought. I came to realize that learning about them and actually having to go through them were two completely different things. At this point I was somewhere between anger and bargaining, the bargaining bit about if I could have done something different to prevent this, and the anger part at myself, mostly.

Unfortunately though, I wasn’t the only person in this equation.

I looked down...and I hated it. I hated looking down at the bed, because it always reminded me that it was him there, not me. It reminded me that even with the Element of Magic ‒ even with the power of an alicorn ‒ there was nothing I could do. No spell could cure it, and no amount of hoping would do any good.

Brain tumor. Inoperable, untreatable. Those four words changed everything.

He was having a lot of headaches that had progressively gotten worse over a few months or so. He was pretty adamant about not wanting to go to the hospital, but when he fell over in public because he was in so much pain he couldn’t see straight, I levitated him all the way to the doors of Ponyville General.

The doctors were nice, as they always were, and very efficient. It probably helped that I was now known as royalty across all of Equestria, but I’d like to think it was because they truly wanted to help him.

For nearly two weeks, we went back and forth from home to the hospital, having him take all sorts of tests to find out what was wrong. MRI, CT, PET...these abbreviations became our life as the battery of tests was performed, until finally the last one was done: a biopsy.

I remember the doctor had come in after the results came back a few days later. The chart was right in front of him, and I could tell he was stalling, so I snatched it away with a flick of magic and read it aloud myself.

“8cm malignant mass in Temporal Lobe. Inoperable, untreatable.”

I remembered asking the doctors all kinds of questions about what could have caused it. If maybe it was my magic that had done this to him, or maybe a bad diet or something. Unfortunately, even with all our technological advancements, ponies still didn’t understand exactly who, how, and when cancer would strike.

Six months...that’s what they gave him. And they said they were being generous.

I was in a bad place, but even with me preemptively mourning his loss, he spoke to me in my sorrow. He said that it wasn’t unheard of for ponies to live far past the mark they were given. His words gave me hope in the darkness, and it gave me a reason to keep looking forward.

Unfortunately, sometimes the doctors overshoot.

Within three months, I had to watch him deteriorate. First it was his speech, where he would have trouble pronouncing certain words or sounds. Then it was his memory ‒ he would sometimes forget things or even forget people. Then the seizures started, and by that time we were forced to check him into the hospital ‒ likely his final destination.

So, as I look down at him, I can’t help but think about all the things that might have been. So many things we could have done differently...so many things left unsaid.

I never leave his side, sometimes even using my own royal standing to bend the rules. Where normally the doctors would kick everypony out at 9:00p.m., they know well enough that I’m not leaving, no matter what.

Luna and Celestia thankfully picked up my duties for the time being, because they both know what was coming, and that this wouldn’t last much longer. He wouldn’t last much longer.

Sometimes he wakes up, and depending on whether he’s having a “good” or “bad” day, he may or may not know who I am. He doesn’t talk much anymore, but the few words he does say I treasure more than anything else. It doesn’t matter what he says or does...every second with him is precious to me.

“Twi?” he calls as he opens a single eye.

His hand reaches out for mine, and I take it without hesitation as I bend down close to his face. “I’m here, Spike.” The tears come readily now, and I don’t try and stop them. His once vibrant personality is so subdued now, and it’s heartbreaking to watch. Still, I will stay with him until the end. He deserves that and so much more, so I will give him all I can.

Suddenly his other eye opens, and he blinks a few times as he looks up at me. “Twi? You’re here...” His words slur a bit, but I don’t mind. Maybe at one time in our lives I would correct him or scold him for it, but now he can’t help it...and it doesn’t matter.

I nod slowly as I offer him as genuine a smile as I can. “Always, Spike. I’ll never leave you alone. I promised, remember?”

I can see him briefly thinking before smiling weakly and nodding even weaker. “I remember. That was in the Crystal Palace next to that weird door, right?”

I nod again as I squeeze his hand in my own, his once-strong scales seeming brittle and fragile now. “Yep.”

Again, my mind wanders to all those things I never said. I never thought it was important enough, or always thought I’d have more time. One more spell...one more book read...one more word confined to my mind instead of spoken.

No more.

“Spike.” I say to him, nervousness overcome by determination. He looks up at me, his once-fiery emerald eyes now dulled with exhaustion. I take a deep breath as I say, “There’s some things I’ve wanted to tell you for a long time now, but I wasn’t sure how. Now though, I don’t know if I’ll have another chance.”

He goes silent for a long few moments, the only sound in the room being the heart rate monitor beside us. Finally he asks, “I’m still sick, aren’t I?” The mere mention of the situation causes my tears to fall even faster, but before I can wipe them away, his trembling hand reaches up and does so for me. When I bring my eyes to meet his again, he’s smiling gently at me. “Hey...it’ll be okay, Twilight.”

The once-small drage is now tall, though he’s only barely in his teens. With that physical maturity came mental and emotional growth, which is proven by the fact that he’s comforting me...or trying to, anyway.

I can’t help but shake my head sadly as all the pain and fear I’ve felt pours out of me. “No Spike, it won’t.”

He doesn’t try and correct me again, instead only saying, “Did I ever tell you that you’re the most beautiful pony that I’ve ever seen?” He had to expect the look I give him as shock overwhelms me, but he just smirks. “What? You sounded like you were confessing something, so I figured I’d go first. You know, break the ice and all that.”

I shake my head to regain my senses before countering, “More than Rarity? I doubt that very seriously, Spike.”

He shakes his head negative, before locking his eyes with mine again. “Rarity has nothing on you, Twilight. I just went after her because I didn’t want to admit to you or anypony else that I was crushing on you. I mean, we were like brother and sister for a long time, so it just felt...weird.”

His words were calming, and it just made what I am about to say much easier.

“Spike...I love you. I have for a long time, and I don’t mean like a sister or a friend.” I whispered gently, praying that he wouldn’t push me away in disgust.

There was utter silence in the room yet again, with only the heart monitor to break complete quiet. I could hear my heart beating in my ears, and felt like it was about to leap out of my chest and run away, just like I felt like doing.

But suddenly I can feel a soft caress on my cheek.

I didn’t notice I’d closed my eyes, but as I open them again, I see Spike smiling up at me. He shakes his head as he says, “Stop acting like I’m going to kick you out or something, Twi. I just told you I used to have a crush on you. Did you really think I’d get mad if you told me you loved me?”

I nod, unable to do much else as my brain attempts to reboot.

Spike sighs softly, though with his dry throat, it sounds more like a ragged groan. “Well guess what Twilight, I love you too.”

I sputter a few times as I try and get words to form coherently, but finally I come up with, “B-but...really? I mean like as a little brother or...?”

His finger curls as he says, “Come here, Twi.”

I do as he asks and lean over him, my face only a foot away. He beckons me even closer, and I close the distance to but a few scant inches. Slowly and gently, he brings his trembling hand to the back of my head and pulls me down, and our lips connect.

Suddenly, the room seems so much warmer, and I could swear there are fireworks bursting brilliantly above us. Electric thrills shoot through my body as gently, he lovingly caresses my face with his thumb, our lips still pressed together. For a long few moments, I can only hover above him, frozen in both shock and elation.

The feeling took me back to that one day, so long ago when I became interested in the science of romantic attraction. It was a naive belief to think that such a thing as love could be explained by science, but at the time it made sense. So, as a mere filly of seven, I asked my five year-old drage-man assistant to kiss me. That day I gave my first kiss away to Spike in the name of science, but more importantly, a seed was planted in my heart. Since that first day, the act of kissing my closest friend stayed with me. Throughout my years of growing up, I didn’t understand the feelings I felt towards the memory itself, or Spike. Oftentimes I would catch myself staring unnecessarily long at him, or thinking about him when I was alone. As a young mare, I came to understand that I had over the years developed very strong feelings for the young drage. The fact that for so long I had considered him a little brother conflicted with what I felt, so I simply ignored the new feelings and locked them away, content with the assumption that I would have all the time in the world to deal with them.

My first kiss was given for a foolish reason, but my second kiss was born of love.

After a few minutes (or hours, for all I know), we pull apart. Both of us with flushed faces, and both with a look of surprise and excitement. For a moment, I can nearly forget that Spike is sick, but the rapid beeping of the heart monitor brings the reality crashing back upon me. Spike’s eyes roll back in his head as the monitor’s beeping speeds up even further, and then suddenly flatlines with a long, steady whine that nearly makes my heart seize up.

I jump away from the bed and hit the bright red call button on the wall. “NURSE! HELP!”

Everything happened so quickly.

A slew of medical personnel rushed into the room and ushered me out, my demands to remain with Spike going unheeded as I was physically ushered out of the room and into the waiting area of the hospital. The doctor himself ordered me to stay put and let him and the others do their jobs, so all I could do was sit and wait impatiently.

I’m the only one in the room besides the nurse occupying the front desk, my friends having left many hours ago. I wish Celestia or Luna were here, because then at least I’d be able to have someone that understood my fears to talk to. Instead, only the ticking of the wall clock can be heard, letting dread and anxiousness grip me in an icy embrace as I pace with my wings spread wide in agitation. Never in my life have I felt so useless, unable to even help the one I care about most.

As the minutes turn into an hour, my stress level only elevates further, until the doctor himself strides out from behind the double doors at the end of the hall, his body slumped in exhaustion and his tan fur slicked with sweat.

I approach him without thinking, and he only looks up at me with an expression of pure sorrow. He didn’t need to say anything, and we both know it, but he proceeds anyway. “Princess Twilight Sparkle, it pains me to say that we could not revive him.” My heart drops into my hooves at his words, all hope drained from me, and he catches me as my legs give out beneath me. A sob escapes my throat as we both kneel on the ground together, and he takes a deep breath as he adds, “I’m so sorry...I did all that I could.”

“It’s not fair...”

Those are the only three words I am able to mutter out before I collapse against the doctor, my cries of loss and agony resonating throughout the room and into the night.

Days later, I find myself in my room at the palace. Spike’s funeral was beautiful, as it should be for a drage of his caliber. Not a dry eye was to be seen, and unlike most royal funerals, the majority of the ponies there were personal friends of his. There were hundreds there, all touched in some important way by Spike. He was a light in Equestria that will likely never be replaced, and while Celestia may raise the sun in the sky to bring about the day, Spike brought the light and warmth to my life.

Rarity took his passing the hardest, besides me of course. I had cried for two days straight, until I had nothing left to cry, but Rarity’s wails of mourning were enough to inject a lance of heartache into everypony’s soul. I forced myself to attend, even though I didn’t want to, because Celestia assured me I would forever regret it if I didn’t show up. As strange as it may seem, Spike’s death actually brought me and the girls even closer together. With my duties in Canterlot causing me to be away for such long periods of time, we had begun to drift apart. Now though, we had vowed to never let that happen again. Only the Reaper himself could separate us again...we were not going to allow it to happen otherwise. The love we shared for Spike and for each other was too important to allow us to fade away in each other’s lives.

The most surprising event to happen ‒ for me at least ‒ was when Celestia pulled me aside after the ceremony, and handed me a scroll with Spike’s seal on it. She explained to me that he made her promise to only give it to me after he was gone, and that it was for my eyes only.

I had put off reading the scroll for an entire day after the funeral, almost afraid of what it might contain, but as I sit on the bed in my room, missing his comforting warmth next to me, I can no longer contain my curiosity. With a single flick of magic, I unravel the green ribbon and pull open the scroll, reading it aloud to myself.

“Dear Twilight,

I have some things I have to say, but I’m unsure how to make it all fancy and whatnot, so I’ll just say it. First of all, I’m writing this because I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to write cohar coherent sentences. Already I’m having trouble spelling some words out, often having to think hard or even cross out a word when I realize I screwed up, as you can see. I can’t help but think back to when you first taught me to write, and how you’d likely be having a fit if things were normal, but I guess normal just isn’t in the cards for me.

On to the more important section of this letter, I want to warn you that what I’m about to say might freak you out a bit. Still, I’d never be able to live with myself if I didn’t say it, even if I’m so cowird cowardly that I have to write it out instead of just say it out loud. So please, don’t scream or anything when you read this, and don’t do any of that self-blaming thing you usually do.

Twilight...I love you.

I have for a long time, ever since we fought King Sombra in the Crystal Empire. I don’t know whether it was the magic or maybe just you, but after that weird door we had to get past, something changed for me. I was still stuck on Rarity for the longest time after that, but I started to notice that in my heart and mind, you popped up just as often. It was confusing to me for awhile, mostly because you and me are a lot like siblings, and I can’t even tell you the number of nights I spent awake, hating myself for feeling this way about you. Remember that whole week after the second Grand Galloping Gala that I was in a bad mood? Well, it was because you went with Noteworthy. I wasn’t really mad because Rarity chose to go without a date...I was mad because you didn’t go with me. Along with that, I also hated myself for the way I felt about you, and about the situation itself. I mean, I shouldn’t have been mad that you took some friend as a date, but the whole time I couldn’t help but think, ‘That should be me.’ So, I know it’s kinda late, but I’m really sorry for that. You didn’t deserve it, and I was just being a selfish fool.

So there it is, Twilight. That’s the one thing I’m probably never going to tell you, because I’m sure you can’t feel the same way about me. As much as it makes me sound like a little kid, I’m just too scared to say it. I’m afraid I’ll drive you away or something, and I’m too scared with all this that’s going to happen to me to be alone. I’d rather keep a secret than be alone, and I’d rather you be the one to keep me company than anyone else. So after everything is seid said and done, you can know that I loved you. I don’t know how you’ll take it, but that’s why I have to write it out. I hope that at the very least, knowing I confessed this in some way can let me pass in peace. I’m still scared Twi, but I know that with you beside me, I don’t have anything to be afraid of.

I love you Twi...more than I’ll ever be able to tell you.


Somewhere during the reading, I began crying, and the evidence of this was shown by the drops of wetness on the lap of my dress. The letter was short, but spoke volumes about Spike that I never knew. To think, that night in the hospital days ago, he was prepared to take this secret to his grave. I can’t help but thank the stars and the sun that I found the courage to give my own confession, or else I might have never known how he really felt until it was too late.

A part of me is still upset at the fact itself. I’m upset that after both of us let our love flow to each other, we had only moments to share it before the end. Still, another part of me is grateful that I was able to share such a thing with him, no matter how fleeting. It is the quality of our love that’s important to me, not the quantity.

I guess I’ll always miss him, and a part of me will always wonder what might have been had we both been honest with each other sooner, but a much stronger side of me is ever-thankful that we were able to share just a few moments in mutual love. I feel that the most important moments in our lives are the ones that can never be replicated, whether good or bad. It’s those moments that leave a lasting imprint on us, and have the power to bring change where nothing else can.

I don’t know how I’ll change, but thanks to Spike and the love he briefly shared with me, I know it will be worth it.

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