“It's ironic how much we take the things which have occurred in our lives as granted, not realizing that everything could have been completely different. Just a tiny change, a mere step taken in the other direction, and everything that is today would have never been. I've seen the many possibilities, futures without me and my friends spreading friendship, and they all have been disastrous. Still, even with us as protectors, there were lots of conflicts and imminent dangers to overcome, which we thankfully did. These days. Equestria and our neighbors live together in peace, though that does not mean conflict has ceased forever. Yet I play my part as princess of friendship unyieldingly, taking care of my subjects and everyone who needs help. Subjects... it's still so weird and funny to say that, I-”
A loud groan broke Princess Twilight Sparkle out of her thoughts, making her tilt her head to her right as she looked with confusion at her most faithful companion. “What's the matter, Spike?” She asked, smiling at the purple dragon resting next to her in the garden of her own castle.
Thin smoke rose out of his nose as Spike rolled his eyes, puzzled as always by his best friend's lack of consideration. “You're always talking to yourself when you write in your diary. Could you tone it down please? I just want to nap.” Spike mumbled before closing his eyes again.
Twilight could not help herself but chuckle, but soon nodded and stroke her most favorite dragon's head. “Sorry. You know I sometimes get caught up in things.” She calmly apologized, to which Spike responded mostly with inaudible nagging. Once, Twilight could have sworn he said the word 'sometimes' in a very sarcastic way, causing an impish smirk to form on her muzzle.
Letting out a quiet sigh, the princess raised her head towards the sky, gazing at the radiant blue with a dreamy smile. Not a single cloud in sight, the mild warmth gently caressed her lavender fur, and the grass and plants around her waved back and forth due to the occasional gentle breeze. It was without a doubt a wonderful day; one of many others to be precise. Twilight had seen such days for many years now, but it never failed to delight her. There was simply something about this harmony that touched her very core, perhaps due to her inherent nature or what she had accomplished together with her friends.
Mere moments felt like an eternity to her as she closed her eyes, wallowing in nostalgia as she remembered days very special to her, like the marriage of her brother and sister in spirit, but also unpleasant ones like when Tirek nearly laid waste to Equestria. Twilight shuddered as she opened her eyes again, a saddened frown now gracing her lips. Memories, as much as they forge who one was, often contained pain one would prefer to forget.
“Spike, I-” Twilight spoke under her breath, making sure her dear friend was awake before she started talking again.
“What is it?” Spike asked her, more out of courtesy than actual interest. However, that was all she needed from him to commence.
“Are things these days good? No, could they be better, different?” She requested an opinion from Spike, who was openly baffled by this surreal question.
“I guess. I mean it's pretty unexciting these days. Ponies, dragons, changelings, you name it. Everyone's happy and so on.” Was his halfhearted answer.
Princess Twilight Sparkle was not surprised by this kind of response, even if it still annoyed her every single time. “Not quite what I wanted, but I get your point.” She commented cheerlessly. Spike noted that and opened his eyes again, looking at Twilight with an expression of concern.
“Why you ask? Is something wrong?” He gently questioned his friend's sudden mood swings, to which though she could only shake her head. “No, I'm fine. I was just- thinking- about everything, especially our encounter with Starlight back in the castle.”
Spike scratched his chin, worried by Twilight's cheerlessness. He understood that something had gotten to her, but he did not know what it was and his friend did not seem willing to share her feelings with him. Yet he grasped the link between Twilight's different trains of thought, hence, as a faithful friend, he played along with her scheme. “Does this 'thinking' involve a certain time spell perhaps?” Spike challenged her with an impish grin, to which Twilight could only look away nervously.
“No- no. Just, you know, everything in general.”
She denied his assumptions, though it was easy for Spike to see that he had hit the nail on the head. With minor disappointment, though he understood where she came from, he eventually smiled at her and gently nudged her. “Every scroll is nothing but ashes now, remember? You personally made sure nopony would mess with time again. What did you call the bad futures we've seen again, fake illusions never meant to be? You even called the spell one of Star Swirl's errors, and made sure to let everypony know that time travel is not something to be messed with. Trust me- you did that often enough.”
There was a tone of biting sullenness in Spike's speech that made Twilight giggle like a small filly towards the end. “Yes. I know you're right. Nothing but ashes.” She commented, taking in a deep breath so she could calm down again. While often infantile, she had to admit that there was a wise hero deep within his heart.
“Well then that's that. Like you always said, work towards the future, don't be stuck in the past. It's what made Starlight change her mind after all.” Spike added as he stretched himself, letting out a pleasurable yawn. “And now, if you excuse me and my code, I'd like to nap a bit longer before the big events starts.” He sleepily grouched as he let himself fall on his green tummy again, enjoying the soft grass beneath his scales.
Twilight decided to not say anything, instead looking at her best friend sleeping for a minute. Without a care in the world, that was always how he was. No matter what adverse occurrence, he faced it courageously and looked forward to every day and what it had in store. Sometimes, she wished she was just as easygoing as he was.
Eventually tilting her head downwards, she gazed at the verdant blades of grass that moved with the wind. She spotted some ladybugs leisurely munching one of the blades, though fighting for who got the bigger piece. Twilight harrumphed, wondering if these insects did not realize that there were a million more pieces of grass for them to share. But it was always like this, wasn't it?
Closing her eyes, Twilight once again found herself smothered by her own memories. Just one more time, that's what she always told herself. Everything that had happened, everything that could have been, everything that was never meant to be. “Nothing but ashes...”