It wasn’t the Ponyville library, but had done well these past few decades. The office, her one refuge, was kept obsessively clean. Her walls were covered with diplomas, degrees, certifications, and pictures when they were not covered with bookshelves. Her desk was made of the finest mahagony, crafted magically to bend the very fabric of space and time so that she could have comfortable naps when the desire fell upon her. The statue of Discord stood beside her door, it’s rather amusing expression covered by the coat she left upon it. Twilight Sparkle was an intelligent, powerful, wise and kind pony of many years. The current data suggested that due to prolong and intense use of the Elements of Harmony, her mind and body were being warped into a new, more regal form. Therefore, she was Celestia’s protégé once more, and had to practice her ‘Princess lessons’ when speaking with all subjects of the Equestrian crown. This is what Twilight kept saying to herself as she listened to the supposedly distressed student pleading with her over the telephone. “No, I will not give you a better grade,” Twilight told the person on the other end of the line. There was more talking on the other end, not quite audible to others in the room. Twilight sighed a little bit. “How unfortunate. What was her name?” there was more talking. “Huh. You said she died two times during this semester alone. The data would suggest that since your grandmother is constantly dying and being reborn, you would be part phoenix. Which is false, since phoenix are incompatible with ponies. In any case, they’re much smarter than you,” Twilight said in deadpan. More babbling came from the other end. “Well let’s go down the list, shall we?” Twilight asked, an edge of vindictive glee in her voice. “You’re always late to class. You’re always drunk. You are never keeping colt friends, and I had to console several of the talented young stallions you threw away because they needed a mother figure and apparently I’m it. Although the rise in social illnesses correlating to your arrival does not suggest you are the cause, I would still suggest testing.” There was outright yelling now, although Twilight stood her ground. “Well, the data suggest that you could be defined as such if we were strictly keeping with the dictionary definition. Oh, the Chancillor? Do you mean our fair Princess Luna? Founder and head of the Royal Lunar University, of which you are taking classes and allowing you to pester me with all these wonderful toys?” There was silence on the other end. Twilight smiled. “Gotcha. I won’t be handing out ‘emergency bonus grades’. Go to bed, fail the final with some semblance of dignity, and register for another semester. If you do well, this one will be forgiven. Now good night.” Twilight hung up the phone before quietly tucking it away. Spike knocked on the door. “Come on in, Spike.” The young dragon had entered into the office carrying a tray. “I got you some milk and cookies,” Spike said. He was larger now, more the size of Big Macintosh than a young foal. He seemed more mature, and in many ways he was, but at his core he was still the same Spike. “You don’t need to treat me like a kid, Spike,” Twilight replied. “In fact, aren’t I kind of your mother?” Spike grinned. “You hatched me, but that doesn’t you Mom. Your Mom is my mom. That's why I call her Mom, remember?” “Fair enough,” Twilight said with a shrug. Despite her initial protest, she began to nibble on one of the cookies. “These are good.” “Are they? I learned how to make them from Pinkie Pie,” Spike replied with a grin. “Which means they’ll go to my flank,” Twilight replied with a sigh. “Or would, if I were a normal pony.” “But you are a normal pony,” Spike said. “No Spike. If I were a normal pony, then other ponies wouldn’t be treating me like some sort of Princess,” Twilight replied, quickly standing up and walking out of her office. Spike followed her. “My love life is a mess, which I guess goes along with being ‘an egghead’. Or the fact that I’ll outlive most of my age cohort. My friends are all in corners of the world I have absolutely no control over. My family expects me to do… something… “And to top that all off, I either have to deal with hero worship, insolence, or political chicken manure!” Twilight ranted off. “How’s politics involved in this? You’re not a politician,” Spike replied. “No, I’m not. I’m the Chair of the Arcane Sciences department. Which means I get to sign off on money. In fact, I get to sign off on all the money!” Twilight said with false enthusiasm. “Oh, I was dreading a life of studying subjects which intrest me, in relative solitude, while drawing a government paycheck for it. Now I get to spend all days fisical reports and requests and papers which I couldn’t give two bits about until my eyes go bad, which is oh so much better. “I swear by all gods old and new, and I mean this Spike, overseeing a thesis defense was the highlight of my month. My month! I should be the one defending research. Or making a new spell. Or studying all the new things going on in the fields of natural philosophy. The fields of natural philosophy. It’s dividing itself now because there so much to do and learn. And I should be doing that! Learning and doing! Not wasting my life in an office!” “But Princess Luna asked you to do this, Twilight. And you were so happy to do it,” Spike said, almost pleadingly. Twilight sighed, looking around as she walked. She was approaching the library now. For some reason it was a more comfortable place to sleep in than her own almost lavish bedroom. “Yeah Spike, I know. But you know what would make me happy right now? Going back to Ponyville.” Twilight opened the door to the library and turned on the lights. This library was much more plush and intimate than Celestia’s, with comfortable carpets and places to sit for multiple body layouts. But it was all wood and brass, like some royal’s parlor instead of the comfortable reading place the Ponyville library was. “But you were in Ponyville last week,” Spike said. “Not that Ponyville. I want to go back to the old Ponyville,” Twilight said as she found herself a particularly large pillow to lay down on. “You’re going to mess up your mane like that,” Spike warn. “It’s already messed up,” Twilight said with a yawn, before laying down. She stroked the luxerous couch, cooing lovingly to it. “Oh couch, I’m so unfaithful with my bed by sleeping with you. Nopony must ever know.” Spike sighed. “Now your just being silly.” “I’m a tired old mare, Spike. A lonely, tired, single old mare that even Cadence couldn't find a match for. I have a right to be silly,” Twilight replied, closing her eyes. “Turn off the lights on your way out, and wake me up before the librarian comes by and throws a fit.” “Yes ma’am,” Spike wearily replied. He then turned off the light, leaving Twilight alone with her thoughts and dreams. ---------------------------------------- Okay, so here's the commentary part to keep from double posting. The past few weeks have been emotionally exhausting for me. I've had to take a step back and look at things. I looked at several of my older projects and wanted to get them back up to speed. However, I couldn't simply continued because I've written so much (and have made so many mistakes) that I've made a noticeable leap in the quality of my writing. This is principally a rebooting of "The Trouble with Time Travel", which I couldn't find a way to unfuck. Everything has been planned out beforehand, so it'll be more cohesive and 'tight' than my previous go at writing this story. I'll be removing several of the old things for the sake of keeping it tight, and implimenting several of my storylines in new ways. (Having Space!Texas make contact with Equestria in a much more natural way, rather than forcing it and coming out of nowhere. Incoperating feats of superheroism. etc.) However, this will also be a serial, so I'll probably get around to incorporating everything else in one way or another as I go along. It won't be all carbon copy, but hopefully it'll all end up to be as episodic and zany as SB influenced MLP:FiM should be. That said, I'll still be maintaining the MLP:FiM and MtG crossover, as it's a radically different tone and story and a true crossover.