The NEW Ticket Master

by Jay David

Chapter 1: The NEW Ticket Master

The NEW Ticket Master

Twilight was completely at a loss here. Not long ago, a message had arrived from her beloved mentor, Princess Celestia, that she had been invited to go to the Grand Galloping Gala, the most renowned event on the Equestrian social calendar. But, the problem with this began immediately afterwards, as her ticket had come with a spare. Now, Twilight was no longer the recluse she once was, and now had a blossoming social circle of her own, and that had led to a rather obvious problem. Who to give the ticket to? Currently, all five of her recently-acquired friends were bickering about that very question, all trying to talk down the reasons the others were giving for why they should be the ones chosen. It was a mess, and Twilight was finding this whole matter very upsetting. But, after a time, she sighed, trying to remember all the calming techniques her old foalsitter had taught her in her youth. After taking a full minute to gather her thoughts, she spoke, softly.


The words had been quiet, but they were spoken with such calm and assuredness that it wasn't long before all of her friends became silent. They looked to her, seeing her take a few deep breaths, before finally speaking again.

"I appreciate that you all have your reasons for wanting to go, but I want you all to know that this is a very important decision for me. Choosing one friend over the other is not something that can be done lightly."

Immediately, five sets of ears began to droop, and the mares all realised Twilight's predicament.

"Oh, I'm sorry, Twilight," Fluttershy remarked.

"Yeah, we didn't mean to upset you!" Pinkie added.

Twilight offered a small smile.

"It's okay, I'm not angry. But..."

With her horn aglow, she levitated the offending spare ticket before her eyes, and she sighed.

"There's still this problem to deal with."

She paused, and in the silence that followed, her friends all leaned closer to her, nervous and eager in equal measure to hear what she would come up with. After mulling it over, a smile returned to Twilight's lips, and she glanced down to her number one assistant.


The young dragon looked back up to her.

"Yes, Twilight?"

Carefully, the unicorn offered him the ticket, which he accepted. He looked from it to her a couple of times over, bearing a look of confusion, and after a time, Twilight giggled, placing her hoof upon his shoulder.

"I would like you to make this choice."

Spike's eyes snapped open.


Twilight, seeing no issue, gave a firm nod.

"I've learned many things under Celestia's tutelage over the years, and one thing I know for certain is the importance of delegation. If there's something I have a hard time deciding or doing, there's no shame in bringing somecreature else into matters."

She gave him a sly wink.

"Besides, if a super-powerful alicorn Princess shouldn't be expected to do everything herself, why should anypony else?"

Spike gulped, realising the importance of what was being said here. The other mares, equally stunned as Spike, all looked to one another as they too tried to get their heads around this. But, after a while, Spike sighed, looking back to his carer and giving a nod.

"Okay...I'll try."

Twilight smiled back to him, giving him a friendly pat on his head.

"Good boy. Besides, since you didn't want to go yourself, you're the only impartial person I can go to for this."

Spike nodded, accepting that, and so exhaled deeply as he looked back to the ticket in his claws. He stared at it for the longest time, then glanced back up to the other mares.

"Okay, so...I'm deciding who gets to go now, so...does anypony want to make their, um, case?"

After another quick glance to each other, the mares smiled to the small drake, stepping closer to him and ready to make their positions known. Rarity stepped closer, clearing her throat and, rather predictably, speaking in a slightly more charming way than normal.

"Oh, my dear Spikey-Wikey, I just know you'll make the obvious right choice about all this. You're just such a gentledrake about these matters."

Spike immediately blushed, trying to hide his face behind his ticket, and Rainbow, clearly annoyed by this, pointed to Rarity while looking straight at Twilight.

"Objection, your Honor! Rarity's flirting with the decider!"

Twilight nodded, frowning to Rarity soon after.

"Agreed. Try to keep it professional, Rarity."

The fashionista rolled her eyes.

"Ugh! Very well then."

She stepped closer to Spike.

"Spike, to go to the Gala is to have the best chance I'll ever have to meet the love of my life! The stallion that all mares dream of! Prince Blueblood! Oh, can you just imagine me finally getting the chance to woo and charm a stallion of that calibre?"

Spike blinked, then grumbled slightly.

"Oh, yeah, I'm imagining it alright."

Rarity, oblivious to his irritation towards her motivation, gave a nod, before then stepping aside to allow Applejack to take her turn.

"Mah family has a great chance ta make some real money at a shindig like the Gala, Spike. An' with all the little problems our farm's goin' through, like our run-down ole barn, we could really use the help. Ah'm no party-lover, no offence, Pinkie..."

"Meh, none taken," the pink mare replied.

"...but ah'd be goin' fer the sake of somethin' real important ta me."

Spike nodded, rubbing his chin slightly.

"Yeah, that does sound really important."

Applejack smiled, feeling like she was getting the edge in all this. Rainbow apparently felt the same way, because she'd been looking on nervously at that whole thing, and so zipped on in, getting right up in Spike's face before speaking her own case.

"Okay, kid, picture this. You've spent your whole life dreaming of meeting some of the most awesome ponies who've ever lived. You've devoted your every waking moment to trying to get their attention and maybe join their ranks. Then, out of nowhere, somepony you know has the chance to give you a way in to meet them. That's what this Gala means to me! A chance to get in good with those I've idolised for as long as I can remember!"

Spike, though taken aback by her sudden interruption, scratched the back of his head as he contemplated that.

"Uh...yeah, I guess that would be something you wouldn't want to miss."

Rainbow smirked to Applejack, much to the latter's annoyance, but the two said nothing as Fluttershy then moved forward.

"Um, I really love animals of all shapes and sizes, Spike."

Spike's chest puffed out and he smiled.

"Including baby dragons, if I do say so myself."

Fluttershy giggled before continuing.

"Oh, yes indeed. But the gardens of Canterlot have some of the most exotic and special creatures known to ponykind. Creatures that somepony like me would probably never get the chance to ever find on her own, no matter how many times I visited places like the Everfree."

Spike paused, looking to her and the way she was clearly enamoured with her current daydream of visiting those remarkable beasts and birds.

"That sounds like it'd be great, Fluttershy. You'd probably love them more than anypony else who's gonna go there."

Fluttershy smiled sweetly to him, and thus, it was finally the turn of Pinkie, who bounced into view with the biggest smile Spike had yet seen on her, which was saying something.

"The Gala is, no question, the most famous party in Equestrian history! And I am a mare who loves parties! I love the singing, the dancing, the fun, the decorations, I love everything about them! If you go across all of Equestria, you will never find a pony who loves and lives for parties more than me! So for me to never ever go to the biggest party in town? Come on, where's the sense in that?!"

Spike chuckled nervously.

"Er, yeah, that...that makes sense actually."

Pinkie squeed, then stepped back, standing alongside all the other mares, who looked to him expectedly. Spike, now having heard all of them, sighed deeply, before then leaning to the side and whispering to Twilight.

"How did you not go nuts having all that choice?!"

Twilight giggled, then placed her hoof on his shoulder again.

"Choices are hard, but I have faith in you Spike."

"Well...guess if I have your confidence then..."

The dragon looked to all the mares, each one eager to hear what he had to say. He knew they all had perfectly good reasons for going, even though Rarity's irked him a little, so he knew that, no matter who he gave this little golden ticket to, there would be a good time had. But he also pictured the disappointment in the others, and that thought gnawed at him. However, after a while, his train of thought was interrupted by the meek voice of Fluttershy.

"Um, Spike? Do you need more time?"

Spike shook his head.

"No, it's just...it's kind of a big thing, what I'm doing. I wouldn't have even wanted to go, and here I am, getting involved in it anyway."

That remark spurred some curiosity in Pinkie, who tilted her head slightly.

"Say...what would you do at the party?"

All eyes were upon her now.

"Hm?" Spike enquired.

Pinkie gave a shrug.

"I mean, if you went to the Gala...what would you do? I mean, if you wanted to go. Go to the gardens like Fluttershy? Try to rub elbows with celebrities like Rainbow?"

Spike shook his head.

"No, nothing like that. I'd...well...it's nothing."

Applejack stepped forward, offering a warm smile to him.

"Hey now, ah'm sure yer reasons are jus' as good as ours."

"Yeah! So what would you do, kid?" Rainbow added.

Spike blushed, looking back up to Twilight, who was now similarly curious like her friends. Realising that he had their full attention on this matter, Spike finally relented, letting out a long sigh.

"Well...I'd...I'd spend the night with Twilight."

Twilight looked to him, taken aback by that.

"With me? But Spike, we spend time together all the time!"

Spike nodded, looking her right in the eye afterwards.

"I know, but when we do it's usually for all sorts of other stuff. Like sorting out the library, or helping AJ with her chores. I mean, if it was just a time at a party, like the Gala, I'd just want to, you know...spend time with you. You know, just hanging out and talking like what you'd want to do with Celestia. No work, just...just the two of us."

Twilight was stunned to hear all of this, as were the other mares, but after a time, a warm smile came to the unicorn's face, and she reached out, taking hold of Spike and bringing him into a close embrace.

"Oh Spike, that was really sweet of you."

Though Spike had been embarrassed to have admitted all of that, he nevertheless smiled to her, returning the hug. It was a tender moment, and one that the other mares couldn't help but soften to. Even Rainbow, image-obsessed mare that she was, smiled at this heart-warming sight. Then, in the quiet that followed, the five all looked to one another. No words passed between them, but it wasn't long before a knowing smile was shared among them. They all nodded simultaneously, and as they looked back to the purple pair before them, they casually trotted over.

"Ahem?" Rarity muttered.

The two finally parted, having clearly held back tears during that little get-together, and as they looked on, they listened well as their friends spoke.

"I think...perhaps the Gala is not the place for me after all, darlings," Rarity declared.

The two were shocked.

"Wait, what?!" Spike blurted.

"Eyup. Ah reckon mah family can do pretty well without goin' ta some fancy-shmancy place like that," Applejack added.

"Yeah, hanging with Wonderbolts is cool, but, you know, I've got this super awesome move I want to practice, so I figure it'd be best to spend the night doing that instead," Rainbow confessed.

"I spend all day with animals. They may not be exotic, but they're definitely special. Why dream of others when I have all I need all around me?" Fluttershy explained.

"And I do loads of parties! Pfft! Given time, I bet I could make a party way better than what that silly little Gala could do!" Pinkie finished.

Twilight and Spike blinked, then looked to each other, then looked back to their friends.

"But...but...what about this?!" Spike asked, holding up the extra ticket.

The five mares smirked at one another, then walked forward, with Rarity gently nudging Spike's claw so the ticket was closer to his chest.

"I do believe that ticket's rightful owner...has it already."

Finally, understanding had come for the two, and they looked to their friends with nothing short of pure surprise. The other mares all smiled to them, and though nopony said anything, it was clear what they had just done. After a time, Spike looked down to the ticket, to his ticket, and held it tightly. He looked back up, his lips starting to form a smile, and he looked so touched by their gesture that tears were starting to form in his eyes. Twilight too was feeling it right now, and again brought him close, causing another sweet moment for the other mares to look at. After a while though, Applejack broke the silence.

"Ya know, ah think mah Granny was makin' some pie today. Y'all want in?"

The others all nodded enthusiastically, with the exception of Rainbow, who simply grimaced, which she did her best to hide as soon as Pinkie looked her way. The five moved on, giving the remaining two all the space they needed. After a while, however, Twilight and Spike parted again, and after taking a moment to really take in all that had happened, they sighed.

"So...to the Gala, Spike?"

Chuckling, Spike looked down to his ticket, knowing he was its master, and nodded back to the pony he'd known his whole life.

"Yeah...let's have some fun there...together."

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