Let Me Cry

by jkbrony

Chapter 1: Please don't cry...

Spike cast his tired eyes down over the unusually-shaped rooftops of Ponyville as Twilight began to make her descent towards her castle, its crystal-like exterior glowing radiantly in the crisp moonlight. Exhaustion had long coursed its way through their each and every limb, and there was little else on their minds but the collective thought of crawling into bed for a peaceful night's sleep.

Their four-day stay in Canterlot to restore long-lost friendships had ended with quite the proverbial bang, and a lengthy day of non-stop partying was chiefly to blame for their growing fatigue. Yet they were still returning home with an air of satisfaction at the success of their mission—Moondancer had embraced friendship again after living as a recluse for the last few years, spending innumerable hours at the Canterlot library when not hidden away in her decaying and dilapidated home. It was a victory hard-achieved, and the rewards reaped were a brand new social life for Moondancer, as well as an additional reason for Twilight and Spike to pay their old hometown a visit every so often.

Much to Twilight's relief, Pinkie Pie had agreed to take the train back to Ponyville, and thus only Spike was perched upon her back, his arms wrapped firmly across her neck just in case he slipped from consciousness as a tranquil nightly breeze attempted to caress him to sleep. But the breeze unexpectedly whipped sharply against his face as Twilight's slow decent suddenly morphed into a downward swoop towards the castle's front doors, forcing the infant dragon to tighten his grip around her. She did not stop to land just outside the doors—instead, she swung them open magically, and with only a slight loss in momentum, she continued gliding her way through the castle's chill and dimly-lit halls, where the beams of moonlight striking through the windows caused the interior to glow nearly as much as the exterior.

Finally, after an intense swerve and a silent landing, the pair found themselves in the castle's sitting room, where their trip to Canterlot had first been initiated by a casual remark from Spike.

"Did I mention that I'm glad I opened my big mouth, too?" Spike asked as he climbed down from Twilight's back. "I didn't realize how much I missed those ponies. We should bring Lyra next time we go visit them. I take it you're going to go pay her visit next, right?"

No answer came from Twilight, who sat herself down on the cold floor as she stared at the pictures on the wall and the small bookshelf, none of which included any of her Canterlot friends as Spike had pointed out to her. The young dragon looked at her with an apologetic frown, assuming that she was possibly lamenting to herself for not snapping any pictures at the party that she could have hung on the wall as a token of their mission's success.

"Well, goodnight, Twi," he said with a yawn.

But before Spike could turn to leave the room, his hazy eyes briefly glimpsed Twilight's face, and the traces of tears sitting in her own eyes caused him instant alarm.

"Twi? Are you okay?" he asked warily, stepping closer to her.

Twilight turned her head away at once, though she knew that trying to shy away from him would be in vain. In that moment, there was far more on her mind than just sleep, and her thoughts buzzed around inside her head like an angry wasp, which painfully stung at her until she was left without any ability to lie down and rest. The concerned dragon frowned at Twilight's attempt to shut him out and he moved back into her line of sight, closing in on her deeply enough so that his nose rested mere inches from her own, preventing her from turning her head again.

"Come on, Twi, talk to me," Spike urged, his exhaustion lessening as his concern increased.

Twilight closed her eyes and became entirely still, once more attempting to avoid sharing her thoughts with the prying dragon. The room fell into a cold, momentary silence as Spike repeatedly ran his hand down Twilight's neck, the tips of his claws unintentionally prickling her skin with each stroke. As the minutes ticked on as slowly as hours, her eyes gradually slid back open and she exhaled a solemn sigh, finally realizing that there was no longer any point in trying to avoid him.

"What's wrong?" he asked again, hopeful that he would finally receive an answer.

"Spike...I..." she said, her voice low. "...I don't deserve to be the Princess of Friendship."

Spike blinked and squinted with confusion, indicating to Twilight that what she had said was not something he had expected to hear.

"What do you mean? Of course you do!" he exclaimed with an optimistic smile, hoping that it would be returned.

But it was not returned, and Twilight shook her head as the tears in her eyes continued to build themselves up, awaiting a release that seemed all but inevitable.

"I really can't thank you enough, Spike," she said suddenly, her moist eyes staring at him with genuine sincerity.

"Huh? For what?" Spike asked with equally genuine curiosity.

"If you had never said anything about what a horrible friend I was back in Canterlot, nothing would be different now," Twilight said, turning her head back to the framed photos on the wall and bookshelf. "I'd be sleeping soundly tonight, completely unaware of how much I left my old friends behind....completely unaware of how much I hurt Moondancer..."

"Oh, come on, Twilight," Spike said dismissively. "That's what you're so upset about? I told you before that you may have been a bad friend back then, but you're a great one now. And that's really all that matters."

"No, Spike, it's not all that matters!" Twilight replied, startling the dumbfounded dragon with her raised voice. "I wasn't just a bad friend, I was a terrible one! What kind of friend just completely leaves her friends behind without a second thought, never coming back to pay them a visit or anything?"

Spike frowned with discomfort at the sharper tone in her voice, knowing at once that he had underestimated just how upset she was.

"Okay, yeah, you were a terrible friend back then. But—"

"Oh my gosh!" Twilight cried, staring hard into Spike's face once again. "Are you saying that I was I a terrible friend to you, too?! Did I really treat you as poorly as I treated them?!"

Spike immediately shook his head. "No, Twi, that's not what—"

"Oh, my gosh!" she repeated, trembling as an entirely new wave of sorrow washed over her. "Spike, I want you to tell me every single horrible thing I did to you back then—every single time I ever neglected you or ignored your feelings. Just lay it all on me!"

Spike blinked. "Uhhh...you mean, like, now?"

"Yes, now. Right now!" Twilight answered immediately. "Tell me everything!"

Spike shook his head again. "You didn't treat me badly, Twilight. I don't really have anything—"

"No, Spike, I want to know!" Twilight cried. "Just name something, please! Any moment where you felt I was terrible to you!"

Spike sighed, falling subsequently into a brief pause during which he thought back to his life with Twilight in Canterlot. It was a life he had enjoyed, and he was certain there was no one else he would have rather been living with. Twilight had graced him a familial love sufficient enough to lessen his desire for a traditional mother, and punished him only when it was appropriate. While he had not been subjected to the neglect and disinterest that she had displayed towards her other friends, he certainly could not say that he never felt that she did not pay him enough attention from time to time.

Twilight continued to stare at him intensely as she waited for him to speak, the light in the room reflecting brightly off of her water-filled eyes. Spike stared hesitantly back at her, knowing that she was not going to stop waiting until he said something. With a sigh, he recounted the first instance that came to mind.

"Well, on the day of Moondancer's party, I bought her a teddy bear with my own money and I gift wrapped it myself. But just as I was about to leave home to make my way over there, you flung the door open and knocked me to the ground, which made me fall on the bear and ruin it. And...you didn't apologize for that."

Twilight offered no reply and instead remained staring at him with the same level of concern. Spike bit his lip with dread before going on.

"And then, when you were looking for Predictions and Prophecies, I had climbed up a ladder to the top of the bookshelf to get it for you. I was just about to bring it back down, but you levitated it out of my hand which made me lose my balance and fall off the ladder, flat on my face. And again, you didn't apologize."

Spike paused again, though shorter than he had the first time. Twilight still failed to utter a word.

"And...well...you also didn't let me go to Moondancer's party," he said with a finish.

Twilight sat in her ongoing silence for several more tension-heavy seconds, then her bottom lip trembled and curled up with a deep, visible regret.

"You're right, Spike," she said silently, nodding with affirmation. "I really did do all those things..."

At once, she magically lifted Spike off his feet and pulled him into a smothering hug, pressing his cheek firmly and uncomfortably against her barrel.

"I'm so sorry for causing you to ruin your bear, for knocking you off the ladder, and for not letting you go to Moon Dancer's party, Spike. And I'm sorry that this apology is so late. Can you ever forgive me?"

"Twilight, I forgave you for that a long time ago," Spike said, struggling to pry himself from the force of her grasp.

"Well, you shouldn't have. Not until I properly apologized," she replied as she released him. "I just can't believe how horribly I treated you that day!"

"Well, that wasn't how you usually—"

"I just can't believe any of this!" Twilight cried, raising back up on all fours to begin pacing around the room. "I knew I never cared much about friendship back in Canterlot, but I never realized just how horrible I was back then! How could I have been so blind, thinking that I actually had good friendships?! Friendships that I left behind without a second thought!"


"I don't even want to think about what would have happened if Princess Celestia had never sent me here!" she continued. "Would I still be such a terrible pony? Would I have ever changed? Or would I have remained so uncaring towards the friends who clearly deserved a better friend than me...?"

"Twilight, stop it!" Spike cried, shouting loud enough to cause her to jolt in shock, ceasing her pace instantly. "You're not a terrible pony! You never were a terrible pony! There's no need for you to get all worked up like this!"

Twilight stared silently into the deep emerald irises of her little dragon's concerned and frenzied eyes.

"Spike, I feel like I've just stepped into light after walking blind in the dark for years," she replied, calm restored in her voice. "I don't think I'll ever be able to forget the way Moondancer looked at me....the things she said about how I made her feel. And if you had never mentioned what a bad friend I was, she would still be there....in her dark house....without any friends....blaming me..."

She turned her head away again as she uttered her final words, her tears instantly returning to build up once more. Frowning, Spike instinctively placed a comforting hand on her side, but a numbness that had gradually engulfed her body left her almost incapable of sensing the familiarity of his touch. He almost instantly felt her body trembling from underneath his fingertips, and he realized that it was likely only a matter of time before she succumbed to her grief and gave up holding back her tears. An icy chill shook him to the bone as he began to realize just how distraught she truly was—how much a searing, emotional pain was ripping at her from the inside, and how that pain was quickly transferring over to him simply by the mere sight of her grief.

"It's alright, Twi," Spike said weakly, unable to think of anything else to say.

"It's not alright," Twilight replied, shaking her head. "She didn't even think that she had value, Spike! She didn't think she was important because of me! And with nopony ever acknowledging her existence, it's no wonder she felt that way!"

"Twilight, I—"

"She was going to waste herself away all because I couldn't have been bothered to come to her party. I didn't care about her enough even though she considered me her friend. And yet, I'm the Princess of Friendship?! How could I even deserve such a title?!"

"Just let it go, Twi," Spike said meekly, his insides stinging sharply at her self-loathing words. "You made a mistake, but you've made up for it, and you're forgiven now. Please just let it go..."

"No, Spike, I can't just let it go!" Twilight cried, a distinct anger rising in her voice. "Moondancer didn't have any kind of life these last few years! And that's all because of me! Because I was the one who made her believe that friendship wasn't worth it! What if she had lived the rest of her life in loneliness, remaining invisible in a town where nopony ever takes time to notice you if you aren't somepony important? I would have been to blame, just like I'm to blame for the years she missed out on friendship while I've been here in Ponyville, living happily with entirely new friends whom I completely replaced my Canterlot friends with. I've been having the time of my life while she's been living in solitude, never able to understand why I wasn't a good friend to her, or why she meant so little to me that I could just leave her behind without even batting an eyelash..."

And in that moment, it happened at last. The tears sitting impatiently in Twilight's eyes finally made their exodus, sliding down her face in rapid succession. The stinging Spike felt from inside intensified as he watched each tear run down her face as if in slow motion, and an overwhelming sorrow instantly spread across his body, from the top of his foremost spine to the arrowhead tip of his tail. Twilight never cried unless something had utterly devastated her, and whenever he saw her eyes leaking, he was instantaneously struck with the very sorrow that now overtook his body. But this sorrow was not borne purely out of pity for his dearest friend, but also out of a sense of failure on his own part. He had long believed that one of his primary duties as Twilight's assistant was to keep her from shedding tears...

"Twilight, it's not your fault," he squeaked silently, struggling to find adequate words to say to end her grief, but knowing that those would not be sufficient enough.

"Yes, it is! It's no one's fault but mine!"

"You may have been a really bad friend," Spike repeated, "but you're not a terrible pony. Especially not now."

"Well, that's exactly how I feel," Twilight said, watching her tears splash upon the floor. "Not once have I ever even thought about my Canterlot friends after we moved here. Not even once! How could I have been so willfully blind, so unaware of how poorly I treated them?!"

The speed of her teardrops seemed to increase as several fresh tears were produced to replace the ones slipping off her face. Spike felt his legs wobble—the strength to stand was almost completely sapped out of them as the weight of Twilight's grief remained upon his tiny shoulders.

"But, Twilight....Minuette, Twinkle Shine, and Lemon Hearts weren't that upset that you left," he attempted again. "They were—"

"They thought I moved on....and I did!" Twilight interrupted, her voice again filled with contempt at herself. "Without even so much as a goodbye, without giving them any indication that they mattered to me at all!"

Helplessness overwhelmed Spike as he came to the realization that there was likely nothing he could do or say to eradicate her grief, no words he could say that she would not simply twist against herself. The sound of her self-loathing remarks mingled together with the sound of her high-pitched sobs was as an encompassing screech passing through his ears, causing him a discomfort unlike almost anything he had ever known. Without anything left to say, and with his legs no longer able to support his exhausted body, Spike finally collapsed onto his equally weak knees.

"Please don't cry, Twilight," he pleaded, as tears of his own formed in his eyes and were subsequently released. "Please don't cry..."

Twilight's sobs paused for a moment and she rubbed the tears from her eyes to look at her dragon, his head hung solemnly as he also allowed his tears to stain the floor alongside hers. She lowered herself to the floor and lifted his head up so that their eyes were fixed upon each other through the blurriness of their tear-filled vision.

"I'm sorry, Spike," she replied in a soft voice, "but I'm just too upset right now, and I don't think I could stop crying even if I tried. So I just need you to let me cry, okay?"

Spike slowly wiped his liquefied eyes as he felt his stomach drop at her words. He then rose back up to his feet and wrapped his arms firmly across her neck, tight enough to display his faithful affection, though not so tight that he inadvertently restricted her ability to breathe.

"You can cry, Twilight," he whispered into her ear. "You can cry. But I'm going to hold you until you're done. And I'm not letting go, even if I fall asleep."

Twilight smiled, his words sweeping the numbness in her body away so that she was able to feel her little dragon's affectionate touch. "Thank you, Spike."

Spike's stomach churned uncomfortably, unable to suppress his intense desire to put an end her sorrow while also still feeling an inescapable sense of failure for being unable to do so. Twilight's sobs soon continued on, her tears just narrowly avoiding splashing upon the infant dragon's feet. The sound of her sobbing caused his ears so much discomfort that he greatly wished to unwrap his arms from her neck and use his hands to cover them. But in that moment, there was nothing that was going to get him to release his embrace—not before the final droplet loosed itself from her eye, ran down her cheek and added itself to the tiny puddle collecting on the floor. If letting her tears loose was truly what Twilight needed, he would see to it that it was what she received.

"I'm sorry, Twilight," he whispered. "If I had just told you about what a bad friend you were sooner, we could have gone back to Canterlot sooner....and maybe you wouldn't feel as guilty."

"It's not your fault, Spike," Twilight said, shaking her head as she wiped her eyes. "I don't want you to feel guilty."

"But I don't want you to feel guilty either, Twi," Spike replied. "I want you to forgive yourself. I want you to just put it behind you and not dwell on it anymore."

"I know Spike," Twilight replied softly. "I know. But I can't just put it behind me. I....I'm not ready yet."

Spike tightened his grip upon Twilight's neck and prepared his body for an exceedingly long and sleepless night...


Several silent minutes passed by, eventually stretching on into two full hours. Twilight was unsure exactly when her teardrops eventually stopped falling, but she had since transitioned into a lengthy period of silent reflection while Spike's arms remained tied across her neck. It was half past midnight when her exhaustion finally took dominance over her grief, and no longer did she feel that obtaining sleep was impossible as the thoughts on her mind had settled enough to allow it.

"Spike?" Twilight whispered to no reply.

She slowly titled her head to the side to look into the young dragon's face, instantly noticing that his eyelids were drooped while drool leaked from his mouth, directly into a puddle that collected right in between his feet. Just as he had promised, his arms had never parted from Twilight's neck, even as he succumbed to fatigue and slipped from consciousness.

"Oh, Spike..." Twilight said with a smile, a final tear managing to escape her eye at the gesture.

She magically lifted her little dragon onto her back and walked slowly up the stairs to his room, careful not to allow him to slip off her back. She meticulously tucked him into his filly-sized bed, watching with a smile as he stirred in his sleep once she released the magical grip around him. Once more, she found herself immensely thankful for his unwavering loyalty to her—for refusing to leave her side while she was in distress, even though it meant fighting his exhaustion with every bit of strength he could muster.

"Thank you, my faithful little assistant," she whispered, leaning down to plant a kiss upon his forehead.

Spike stirred in his sleep again, his mouth appearing to curl into a smile. Twilight lowered herself down to her barrel and remained stroking her infant dragon's head until she eventually slipped from consciousness herself and found her sleep.

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