The train station was once again silent, everypony that had been there was now long gone and doing other things. Nopony was around to notice the lone train car silently roll into the station, strangely enough, not pulled by an engine. The car came to a perfect stop at the platform and the doors swung open, a purple unicorn stepping out. The unicorn was a disheveled mess; her mane was frayed and messy, her left eye had the black markings of a shiner and her nerves just seemed to be on end.
"This day was going to be perfect..." She sighed, looking over the broken city that stood before her. Nopony was at the station to greet her but then again, she didn't feel very friendly right now.
"Mmmph!" A white unicorn stepped out of the car after her, a band of purple magic around her mouth. "Mmph, mmm!"
"Rarity, I really don't know what you're saying." Twilight Sparkle sighed, shaking her head at the love-struck unicorn that had followed her all the way here. "Nor do I care."
He eyes slowly turned back to the city, the broken castle still standing in the distance.
"This is where it all ends."
Spike the dragon ran through the streets of Canterlot, the plant still in his claws, kicking up the mist that grabbed at his feet with each step. The streets were strangely empty; no noises could be heards for all around save for the sharp breaths that Spike made as he breathed through his gas mask.
As he walked, he began to notice the destruction around him; Windows and houses broken, carts overturned, pies left on the ground and spoiled. the whole city was a mess.
"All my fault..." He sighed. All this had happened just because he wanted to improve his relationship with Rarity and now with her pining for Twilight it was even worse. He had messed up everypony when the potion had spread; Twilight, Lyra, all of ponyville and even Princess Celestia had been affected and it was all his fault.
The sounds of thundering hooves suddenly filled the little dragon's ears and echoed off the street's houses. Something was coming this way and it was coming fast. Spike quickly dived into one of the alleyways and hid himself just in time for the thundering hooves to arrive.
A group of royal guards, their armor clanking and gleeming in the sunlight as they moved, they ran into the middle of the street and began searching the area around them.
"I swear I heard something down this way!" One of the guards said as they searched.
"We have to keep searching." Another guard ordered. "The princess ordered us to find whoever was on that train."
Spike's gasp was muffled by his mask. Who ever was on the train? He thought. That was us! Maybe Princess Celestia sent them to help us! Spike jumped out of the shadows and into the open. "Hey!" He called to the guards, waving his arms in the air.
All of the guards turned in the direction of the noise at once, their eyes finally focusing on the baby Dragon not too far away from them.
"You!" One of the guards finally reacted after a moment, pointing a hoof at him. The guard paused. "Who are you?"
"I'm Spike!" He pointed to himself. "I was on the train that arrived earlier."
The guard brought a hoof to his chin in thought. "Spike..." He mumbled before his face lit up with a sudden understanding. "He's the one." He said to the other guards that nodded in agreement. They stepped towards the dragon. "We were going to get you later but now that your here that makes it much easier."
Spike was suddenly confused. "The princess called you earlier? But she didn't even know what was..." His voice drifted away as he finally noticed something that made his already cold blood even colder.
"Wait..." He stuttered. "You're...you're not wearing gas masks." He realized.
The guards continued to advance towards him. "Princess Lyra was expecting you."
"Princess Lyra?!" Spike gasped.
The guards were now standing in front of him, glaring down at the dragon. "You are late for your wedding."
Spike tuned and bolted in the opposite direction, running away as fast as his little legs could carry him. He could already hear the guards chasing after him. He was freaking out; he was all alone and now a group of trained, hypnotized guards were after him.
"No need...to...worry..." He panted. "All I need to do is outrun the guards and-"
A royal guard suddenly slammed into the ground in front of Spike, the guard's white wings spread wide to prevent the dragon from avoiding him. With nowhere to turn and not enough time to react, Spike slammed into the guard's legs, knocking the wind right out of his lungs.
"Oh yeah..." Spike groaned. "Wings..."
Spike slumped over onto the ground as the guards surrounded him, looking down at him from above. one of them pulled a hoof back, positioning it over Spike.
This whole, heroic sacrifice thing probably was a bad idea. Was all he could think of before the hoof came down on him.
"Do you see anything, Fluttershy?"
"Uh, no, sorry."
Applejack and the others searched through the streets for their friend that had unceremoniously deserted them. Pinkie, Applejack and Bon Bon searched the ground while Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash and Princess Luna flew above them looking for clues. In the time that they had been searching and with the asistance of a hammer from Pinkie, Luna had been able to regain most of her focus.
Bon Bon pounded the ground in frustration, knocking up a plume of mist. "This is getting us nowhere!" She shouted.
"Quiet!" Applejack hissed at her. "Ya'll might alert the guards!"
"FRIEND APPLEJACK." Luna thundered. She dropped out of the sky, slamming in to the cobble street with a resounding crash that rivaled her voice in noise levels, the sound wave knocking all of the mist around them away. "WE HAVE NEWS."
"LUNA!" Applejack shouted in the Alicorn's face. "Inside voice!"
Luna stepped back, surprised at the Earth pony's words. "Uh...I apologize." She stuttered, her voice a lot quieter now, little more than a whisper.
"What news did you have?" Pinkie jumped in, happy as ever despite their current predicament. "Did you find something?"
"We..." Luna said quietly, embarrassed now. "We didn't find anything; the mist is masking everything around us."
Applejack facehoofed. "Well that's just-Ah!"
A fast blur had collided with Applejack, sending the both of them crashing into the ground in a heap.
"Applejack!" The blur, who was actually Rainbow Dash spoke happily. "I'm getting really tired of spending all this time away from you." She attempted to nuzzle her love but was halted by Applejack's gas mask. "Why don't you take this off?" She tried to remove it and Applejack quickly pushed her away.
Applejack had a headache. "Did you find anything, Dash?"
"Well...uh, no sorry." Dash rubbed the back of her head sheepishly.
Applejack sighed. "Does anypony have some good news?"
Applejack flinched at the voice despite the quiet tone it carried. Fluttershy fluttered to the ground slowly and landed without a sound.
She groaned. "You don't have anything either, do you?"
Tears welled up in the Pegasus's eyes, hanging her head and allowing her long pink hair to shroud her face. She walked dejectedly over to Bon Bon.
"I'm sorry." She whimpered to the Earth pony.
Bon Bon reached out awkwardly and patted her shoulder. "It's...okay." She told Fluttershy. "You...you did your best."
Luna rubbed her head, as if experiencing a headache. "There must be some sort of clue."
Pinkie pointed a pink hoof at the ground. "You mean like that?"
Everypony looked at the ground and to their surprise, on the ground where Pinkie had pointed, now visible because the mist had been cleared away, was a purple scale, a purple dragon scale.
Pinkie peered down at it. "It looks like it belongs to Spike!"
Fluttershy snatched up the scale and inspected it, turning it over and sniffing it. After a moment she stood up, a look of thoughtfulness on her face.
"Okay, four guards, each of them Pegasus, carrying Spike in that direction..." She pointed in the direction that led into the city. "And he really needs a bath."
Everypony stared at her incredulously.
She blushed under the attention. "I'm an expert animal tracker."
"That direction leads to the castle." Luna noted.
As soon as Luna had noted this, loud bells began to sound off in the distance.
Dash looked up in the direction of the noise. "What's that?"
"It is the royal wedding bells." Luna explained while rubbing her head to try and ease herself of her headache. "They are only to be rung when one of the royals are getting married."
Luna blushed slightly. "It has never been rung before."
"So somepony's getting hitched and it's not ya'll." Applejack thought out loud.
Bon Bon gasped. "It must be Lyra!"
"Come on!" Applejack ran towards the sound of bells. "We have a wedding to crash!"
The others quickly took after her; Bon Bon quickly by her side and Princess Luna and the two other Pegasus flying after them.
"We're going to a wedding?" Pinkie talked to herself as she brought up the rear. "But we don't have a thing to wear!"
Spike slowly began to stir, an aching pain in his head from the guard that had hit him. The gas mask had absorbed most of the punch but it had still knocked him out. He was on the ground, he knew that much, He could feel the cobble underneath him and felt love mist clinging to his arms.
He didn't feel particularly capable of getting up just yet so he settled for opening his eyes. After a small amount of effort, his sore eyelids eventually opened and Spike looked up from his position on the ground, dark splotches dancing around his vision.
He still had his gas mask on, that was good.
Lyra was looking down at him, that was not good.
He shouted. "Ah!" And attempted to crawl away from the dragon obsessed mare, only to find him and her surrounded on all sides by royal guards. The royal castle stood behind Lyra, casting a shadow over the ponies.
"Tsk, tsk, tsk." Lyra said aloud, staring down at Spike. "Spike, don't you know it's bad luck to see the bride before the wedding?" Her horn glowed soft green and Spike was lifted into the air and into the unicorn's arms. "But I guess since you just couldn't stay away, I'll just have to allow it." She grinned happily, squeezing the dragon.
It had taken a moment but after Spike's vision had cleared up, he had noticed that Lyra was wearing a rather beautiful dress. The kind of dress that one would wear if they were getting...
Lyra pointed with a hoof. "And look at how many ponies showed up!"
Spike strained to look in the direction she was pointing in, the guards moving away to allow him a look. He quickly realized that he was in Canterlot square, on the steps outside the royal castle, the castle itself looked devastated, broken pillars and windows with love mist pouring out of every opening. The area around them had been decorated quite extensively with streamers, flowers and the like, the direct opposite image of the castle behind them. Ponies stood behind a line of guards, screaming compliments to the musician.
"They all came here to see us in our happiest moment!" She said as she squeezes Spike again in glee.
"Yeah..." The strangled dragon groaned. He suddenly realized something that made him gasp in surprise. "The plant!" He gasped. "Where's the plant?!"
"Oh you mean the wedding gift you got me?" She giggled. "It's over with the other gifts, it's a bit dead but a little bit of water and some love and it will be right as rain!"
'A bit of love'. He scoffed inwardly, looking over her shoulder he saw the plant sitting in a glass vase atop a mound of very hastily wrapped gifts, as if the givers had grabbed what was nearest them and wrapped it up without a care. He swore he saw a half wrapped pony lying in the pile.
"But enough of that." Lyra set Spike down and the guards circled him once again. "It's time for the ceremony to begin!"
"Begin?!" Spike gasped, he quickly scanned the area for an excuse out of this. "But...but I don't have a tux!"
"Doesn't matter." She waved him off. "Besides, I don't want to wait for that too."
He had to find some way to stall. "Hey uh, is everypony here in love with you?"
"The citizens of this city care for me if that's what you mean."
From somewhere in the crowd, a pony cried out. "I love you, Lyra!"
Lyra ignored them and continued talking. "But none of them will ever sway my love for you."
"So these guards..." He pointed to the many Pegasus that surrounded them. "They're in love with you too?"
"It's more of a loyalty thing." She explained dryly. "Apparently the guards took an oath to the other princess or were threatened or something." She shrugged. "They don't like to talk about it."
"Okay..." Spike didn't know how to respond to that. "But how about-"
"Enough!" Lyra shouted fiercely, suddenly angry. "I know what you're doing; you're trying to be 'hard to get' again." She reared up and slammed the ground in front of him. "But I'm not going to take that anymore!" She roared. "Guards! Positions!"
The guards quickly went to work. They spread out along the corners of the square and stood still, watching the every move of the other ponies, Spike couldn't escape.
"Now..." Lyra turned her attention back to Spike. "It's time to recite the vows, then we will be married and you can finally take off that ridiculous wedding veil."
"Wait!" Spike panicked. "Doesn't there have to be somepony official who officially weds us?"
"Well..." Lyra thought aloud. "I am a princess so I can actually do that myself but I'd rather not."
"You have too!" Spike pleaded. "Please!"
Lyra glared at him but eventually yeileded. "Fine." She groaned. She turned and cleared her throat. "We are gathered here today..."
As she continued talking, Spike desperately searched for a way out. Guards lined every exit and he obviously wouldn't be able to evade them if they gave chase.
"Then this is it then." He muttered hopelessly. "It's over."
With nothing else to do, he turned back to Lyra and calmly awaited his matrimonial fate.
Lyra continued, obviously bored. "...And if there is anypony that has a reason to object to this, speak now or-"
Something crashed into the middle of the square, sending ponies, guards and decorations flying away in a tornado of mist and wind. When the mist cleared, four ponies stood in the square, posing as a team and each with a look of determination on their faces.
"Guys!" A pink pony hopped into the square, not even batting an eyelid at the destruction around her or the guards she hopped over. "Aww! You started without me!"
"Pinkie!" Applejack groaned. "We said 'on three', not 'after three'!"
"What is the meaning of this?!" Lyra demanded.
"We're stopping your wedding, Lyra." Bon Bon answered. She stopped for a moment and thought. "Honestly, I never thought I would have to say that."
"Everypony!" Lyra screamed at the top of her lungs. "Attack them!"
The guards and the citizens of Canterlot stepped towards the group at the orders of their new princess. In the confusion, Spike ran over to the group.
"Glad you guys could make it." Spike told them.
Applejack nodded. "Are you kidding? Ah wouldn't miss a royal wedding for the world."
The ponies advanced on them, not running straight for them but taking their time.
"So..." Spike began. "Any ideas?"
Bon Bon looked up to the princess. "Princess Luna? Couldn't you take them all out?"
Luna moaned, her head was still causing her pain. "I could but there's to many of my subjects to simply subdue and I do not want to hurt them."
"Then what do we do?!"
Spike looked out and realized something; all of these ponies loved Lyra.
"Hey!" He shouted louder than the others, causing the pony hordes to fall silent. He grinned at his idea.
"Who here loves Lyra the most?" He asked.
The question washed over the silent crowd, a few of them repeated the question to themselves.
A hoof raised into the air. "I do!" A pony shouted in the crowd.
"No you don't!" Another voice cried out. "I do!"
"No, I do!"
The statement repeated a few more times, as more and more of the ponies started to claim the same thing, tempers began to rise and it wasn't long before the first punch was thrown and the entire crowd degenerated into violence.
"No!" Lyra shouted. "My subjects! Stop this at once!"
"Quickly!" Spike cried, jumping onto Luna's back. "Into the castle!"
The six quickly raced to the mighty castle doors, snatching the heartbreaker out of its vase along the way. As soon as they were inside the castle, Luna magically slammed the stone doors shut behind them.
"Spike, You go make the anti-love thing." Applejack ordered. "We'll hold them off!"
Spike did as she said and ran off down the misty hallways, leaving the five mares to guard the door.
"Do you think you can hold it, Princess?" Bon Bon asked the straining Alicorn.
Luna nodded proudly. "Of course! I possess magic above any other-"
A white hot spark of pain ran through Luna's head, causing her to cry out in pain and almost drop her magic control of the doors, just as it was rammed from the other side.
She held her head with a hoof. "Grab anything you can and barricade the door."
The square was in chaos, ponies fighting other ponies and Lyra in the middle of it, barking orders at the royal guards that she still controlled.
"Break down those doors!" She screamed to the guards that were ramming the doors. "I don't care if you have to run into them head first, just get them open!"
A guard stopped and turned to her. "We could get it open a lot easier if we didn't have to worry about them." He pointed to the crowd of ravenous ponies, who were beating everything near them senseless.
"Well get them to stop!" Lyra ordered.
No sooner had she said this then the crowds of ponies were suddenly lifted into the air and flung around the square, they landed in piles, unhurt but unconscious.
Through the dust and love mist walked a familiar and very angry unicorn.
"Twilight." Lyra growled.
Twilight wore a face of tranquil rage, walking slowly towards the castle doors and Lyra. Any guards that attempted to stop her were magically lifted without a thought on the unicorn's part and flung aside.
"Twilight Sparkle!" Lyra shouted at the unicorn drew near. "We meet for the last time!"
Twilight ignored her and continued walking; she was almost to the steps.
Lyra faltered at the unicorn's ignorance but quickly replaced it with anger. "No!" She shouted, jumping to in front of the doors. "You will not pass! Spike is mine and this is my wedding!" She screamed.
Twilight stopped at the top of the steps, only a few feet away from the furious bride and looked up at her, glaring at Lyra with a smug grin. Lyra roared and charged Twilight, only to be tackled to the side by a white unicorn.
"Thank you, Rarity." Twilight said as she stepped towards the doors.
Kitchen three, the big cauldron.
Sweet mother of Celestia.
It was huge; a massive iron thing that took up a third of the room. It had its own step ladder for Celestia's sake!
But most of all, it would do.
Spike stood over the cauldron, pouring ingredient after ingredint into the bubbling mess. For some strange reason, Celestia seemed to have a surplus of the ingredients necessary for the love spell. He would have to ask her about that.
When he finally had enough ingredients, he dumped the entire plant into the stew, turning it a sickly greenish brown.
He wiped his brow, now all he would have to do is wait for it to finish.
Applejack stood in the doorway, there was panic in her eyes through the mask she wore. "Is the love thing finished yet?"
"Almost, the antidote still needs to heat up til it can be used." He explained. "Is the door holding?"
"Well of course." Applejack smugly grinned. "We have boarded that thing up with almost everything in the castle, not to mention the magic Luna is using to hold it closed." She chuckled. "Ah'd say that nopony is getting in here."
A massive explosion rocked the castle, knocking dust from the ever expanding cracks and blowing out what was left of the windows, the splintering of wood and the cries of other ponies filled their ears.
Applejack felt her smugness fade away. "...never mind." She added quietly.
Spike quickly went back to the antidote. "Who is it?"
Applejack peered into the hallway and was terrified at what she saw. "It's Twi, and she looks mad." She looked into the hallway again as the unicorn got closer.
"Twilight..." Applejack spoke slowly, cautiously. "Ya'll need to calm down, let's just take a deep breath-"
Applejack was ripped off the ground and flung out of sight, leaving her hat behind on the ground.
Spike cried out in fear, the potion was still not done; it would need to get incredibly hot before it was ready.
Spike whipped around, Twilight stood in the doorway, her body a mess but an expression of absolute success on her face.
"I win Spike." She said happily, stepping over Applejack's hat and into the room. "You're mine and nothing can stop that."
He looked back to the bubbling brew. "Wanna bet?"
"Enough of these games!" Twilight shouted. "You can't run away anymore!"
"I'm not running." He turned back to the cauldron and ripped off his mask. "Not this time."
Twilight screamed and charged Spike, while he drew in a large breath and belched a burning green flame at the antidote.
And then the castle exploded.