As Spike came down the steps, Twilight yawned as she looked over at him. Her half-lidded eyes regarded him for a moment, before her brain was able to catch up with what her eyes were seeing. It was obvious what she was doing while Spike slept.
“Is it morning already?” she asked.
“Please tell me you didn’t end up reading all night again,” Spike answered.
“Sorry, Spike. But this one is so good, I couldn’t resist. I still…want to get….through a… few…more…pages…”
Her eyes started to close the rest of the way, as her head slumped down in the middle of the open book. The impact of head meeting book snapped her awake again, blinking, as she tried to keep her head up. Spike, dealing with this before, grabbed a throw pillow. As Twilight’s head came down again, Spike replaced the book with the pillow. Her head hit the pillow and stayed where it was.
As Spike grabbed a light blanket and put it on her shoulders and back, he regarded how she looked. Her light purple fur, only slightly lighter than his own scales. Her mane and tail of soft black hair, with a purple streak only adding to it. Then there was…
He mentally slapped himself when he realized what he was thinking. He realized he was just staring at her sleeping form, making her look even more beautiful…
No! Where in Equestria is this train of thought coming from?
Knowing that he wouldn’t be able to focus on his morning chores at that moment, he figured a short walk would help clear his head. Twilight probably wouldn’t mind if he started a little late. After marking her book page and putting the book on a table, he left the house.
After a while, he found that the walk wasn’t really helping. Since he didn’t have a destination in mind, all he had to do was avoid leaving Ponyville, as well as avoid any objects or ponies. Since it was still pretty early, not many were up.
As much as he tried, the thought of the dream he had still popped up, especially the last words he spoke in it. Though part of him just wanted to dismiss it as a dream, Twilight once told him that sometimes, dreams may not be random.
“How did she put it? She said that sometimes, our…what’s the word…subconscious, I think it was. Our subconscious speaks to us through dreams, and it knows us better than we know ourselves,” he said to himself.
As he walked, he noticed a couple of apple trees around him. Getting hungry, but not willing to climb, he looked around, and saw a shiny red one just sitting there on the ground. Figuring the owner probably wouldn’t even notice one missing, he picked it up and took a bite.
As soon as he did, he heard thundering steps of some pony coming up behind him. Before he could turn to see who it was, he felt himself being knocked into the air, with both him and the apple flying in different directions. As he came down, he felt someone catch him, and was met with the angry eyes of an orange earth pony.
“Caught ya, you thieving var…” the pony yelled, before realizing who she was yelling at. “Spike?”
“Hi, Applejack,” Spike answered.
“Mighty sorry ‘bout knocking you into the air like that,” Applejack apologized, while they both sat at a table, a slice of apple pie in front of each of them. “You’re just lucky it wasn’t Big Mac that noticed ya.”
“That would probably hurt,” Spike answered, thinking about her older brother.
“So what brings you ‘round these parts, anyway?” Applejack asked. “It doesn’t seem you’re doing anything for Twilight.”
“I…was just wandering, and didn’t notice I was walking on Sweet Apple Acers,” Spike answered, staring at what was left of the slice of pie in front of him. “Have a lot on my mind.”
“Well sometimes talking about things, and getting ‘em off your chest, can make ya feel better,” Applejack replied.
“I…” he started, and then hesitated, not really wanting to mention it to anyone. “Promise you won’t tell anypony. Not even anypony in your family, and especially not Twilight or Rarity.”
“Ya have my word as the Element of Honesty that my lips are sealed,” Applejack promised
“Well, okay,” Spike said. After a deep breath, and preparing himself, he let it all out in a rush. “IthinkImayhaveacrushonTwilight.”
After deciphering what he said, Applejack waited for more. When nothing came, she asked “Is that all? Is that what’s bothering ya?”
“Is that all?” Spike repeated. “Applejack, everypony knows I have a crush on Rarity, even Rarity herself. But Twilight is different. She’s more like the aunt or big sister that I never had. I had a dream about it, with the two of them fighting for my love. I don‘t want to have to choose between them.”
“And you’ve been trying to sort out things since mornin’, haven‘t you?” Applejack asked, and Spike nodded. “Well, there’s nothing wrong about how you’re feeling. Living together as long as you probably have, even if you feel like you’re family, feelings can naturally develop.”
“Still, I’m worried what Twilight will do when she finds out. She may judge me, send me out of Ponyville so she doesn’t have to look at me ever again. Even if she doesn’t, it may come up in her letters to Celestia, and she may be the one to judge, to force me to return to Canterlot with her. They may send me to see a psy…psycia…what’s the word I’m looking for?” Spike worried.
“And I’m as certain as the fact Zap Apples will be back next year, that none of those things will happen if you tell her. I know that keeping things like this inside isn’t healthy. Ya trusted me enough to tell me, and I’m mighty grateful. But it could still eat at you later,” Applejack advised. “If you admit it to her, you’ll find that your fears are unfounded, and you can stop worrying. But you can be sure that she won’t hear anything from me. I‘ll let you decide if and when to tell her.”
As Spike left the farm, Applejack walked towards the orchard. Suddenly, Pinkie Pie suddenly popped out of a basket, flinging apples everywhere.
“You know what I’m going to say, right?” she asked, with unusual seriousness in her voice.
“Losing a friends trust is the fastest way to lose a friend forever,” Applejack answered, half sarcastic.
“Just checking,” Pinkie told her, sliding back under the apples.
Applejack just stared at the apple basket for a moment, then sighed and started picking up the apples that were tossed everywhere.
“I’ll never figure out how she does that,” she muttered to herself.
While he wasn’t sure if Applejack was right about his worries, Spike found that she was right about talking about his feelings. It did make him feel better to get it off his chest, instead of keeping everything bottled up inside. He still wasn’t sure when, or even if, he was going to tell her. But he knew it would probably be soon.
Until he opened the door to find an awake and upset Twilight waiting for him.