"Spike... This date is just... perfect!" said Rarity, smooching the dragon on the cheek. He chuckled.
"I would think so too... if it wasn't for a huge crowd of ponies following us everywhere..." he said, looking back. The crowd now was made up of mainly little fillies, save for Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy. The other ponies just stayed for Pinkie's party and then went back to their work.
"Well, that can't really be helped. Nobody, not even me, expected that you would ask me out. And they did give us some useful advice, didn't they?" asked Rarity, smiling.
"Yeah... but didn't Cheerilee's sound kind of odd to you?" he asked her, stroking her beautiful mane.
"Well, 'Not to drink any punch given to us by Sweetie Belle' does sound kind of odd, but wasn't it the case that the little Crusaders made a love potion to make Cheerilee and Big Mac fall in love? Surely we wouldn't want to start giving ourselves odd nicknames." she said, leaning closer to Spike.
"A love potion would be kind of useless if we're already in love. And you wouldn't want a nickname, my Beautiful Diamond?" he asked playfully.
Before Rarity could answer, a loud ringing of a school bell could be heard. Instantly, Spike shoved Rarity to the side of the narrow alleyway they were following, before a stampede of hurrying fillies galloped past them, leaving nothing but a cloud of dust behind them.
"That was close..." said Spike, exhaling. "This just shows that one should never get caught up in front of young ponies during a schoolday."
Rarity looked at Spike's new face. Such courage. Such determination. Such care and protectiveness. He was exactly how she wished her boyfriend would be. A knight in shining armour... though maybe scaly armour would be more fitting for the occasion.
"Maybe we should stop right here... this has been a very eventful day, and I'm sort of tired..." said Rarity. Spike looked at her.
"Sure, but how about we take a seat somewhere and relax first? Maybe the new café that opened? What do you say?" he asked.
Rarity blinked. She just noticed that he was also quite assertive lately. That was a very big change too.
"Okay." she said, smiling.
Despite all of the work she had yet to complete at the farm, Applejack found it hard to resist the temptation of following the rest of her friends into the café. In the end, she tagged along, not only to hear their stories and converse with them, but she had a worry. A worry that she could share with only one of them - Twilight Sparkle. Nevertheless, being a good friend, she listened attentively to what others had to say.
"...so then I took all of my party stuff out and put all new date stuff in my cannon! I was going to use it on Cranky and Matilda but they wanted some quiet time. Then I heard that Spike was going to ask Rarity out and at first like was like 'EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEH?' but then I remembered that I still had my Date Cannon so I brought it and made you guys a party!" said Pinkie Pie, ending one of her hyperactive speeches. Other than them, the café was empty. It wasn't very popular yet and everything needs to gain reputation. Applejack supposed that they would have been the first customers.
Rainbow Dash started talking about yet another Daring Do book she was reading when Twilight rose to her hooves, "Well, it's been fun, but I have something to do for Princess Celestia. Bye everypony, see you later!"
Applejack also got up, "Ah still have m'work to finish at th' farm. Have fun y'all." she said, and followed Twilight outside.
The purple unicorn turned to leave, but Applejack put her hoof on Twilight's shoulder, "Wait a sec' sugarcube. I have somethin' to ask you about."
Twilight turned to face Applejack, "Well... what do you need to know?" she asked, giving her a warm friendly smile. On the contrary, Applejack's face turned a bit grim.
"Twi, I know y'all are happy f'r Spike 'n Rarity, and so am ah, but don'cha find somethin' strange in all this? One day ah see Spike 'chicken out' before he has a chance ta speak with Rarity, next day he's a completely new dragon. Did'ya hear? He saved Mrs. Cake's baby from a fall. Doesn't sound like Spike I know." she said, keeping her voice low and serious.
"What are you implying Applejack?" asked Twilight, raising a brow.
"Nopony can change their p'rsonality from day t' day. Don'cha think he might've used some magical power or somethin'? It may not sound like somethin' y'hear from y'r friends, but I'm not sure about using magic on oneself. I heard it c'n have serious side effects. Remember the Love Poison incident?" she explained.
Twilight's face wrinkled a little, a sign that she was thinking hard. After that, she looked back at Applejack, her face not as smiling as before, "I've never heard of magic that can change somepony's personality. But don't worry, I noted your concerns and I will ask Princess Celestia about it in tonight's letter." she said. Applejack sighed with relief.
"Thanks sugarcube. I'd hate t' see somethin' bad happening to y'all... or especially Spike." she said, nodding in a formal manner before speeding off to Sweet Apple Acres. Twilight's eyes followed the trail of dust she left behind her, then she turned and made her way to the Library.
It was an eventful day indeed. Rainbow Dash was napping peacefully on a cloud as she didn't want to bother flying all the way to Cloudsdale. Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy were fast asleep in their respective homes, but Rarity fell asleep even faster in the boutique. Applejack finished her work and went to sleep in the barn while Twilight napped peacefully in the Library.
The only one still awake was Spike.
He climbed to the top of the tree, and decided to look at the starry sky. Sure, he was a baby dragon but it felt as if there was some kind of new energy within him. He barely felt sleepy, and actually felt hyperactive. Not as hyperactive as the hyperactive princess of hyperactivity Pinkie Pie, but the energy managed to keep him awake. To let go of some of it, he decided to climb to the top of the library. It worked, but he still felt there was a pile of energy left in him.
"I know!" he said to himself, jumping onto his back claws, "I'll breathe some fire! It's cold anyway."
He inhaled as much air as he could, and let out... a small stream of fire, which disappeared almost instantly. He was surprised - he never had such a small amount of fire escape his mouth - but suddenly felt drowsy and very sleepy. It was as if that little flame drained him of all his energy. This certainly wasn't normal.
With a few hops, he skilfully jumped down onto the balcony, entered the Library and got into his cot. He felt that sleep was going to be the only thing that could restore the energy he lost. He closed his eyes, and within seconds he was floating away into the dreamworld.
Spike could tell something was odd. He never had such a dream before as far as he could remember. He was sitting in a dark room, with bare walls. There was no door, no window, nor was there any hole. The room had three rock walls, a floor, a ceiling and, most oddly, a big transparent wall just before his eyes. The dragon walked up to the wall and put one of his scales on it. Diamond, the hardest of all gemstones. Tough to bite, hard to swallow, impossible to cut. So he was in fact given some sort of a window.
On the other side of the diamond wall was a shape, a shape that made Spike shiver. On the floor, in a comfortable cot, lay himself. Another Spike, snoring peacefully with small clouds of smoke, so small that they dispersed instantly in the air. His claws were chained to the wall, but they were long enough to allow him to reach seemingly every part of his room. And what a room it was.
Pictures of Rarity decorated every wall. There was a table with a quill and a scroll. There was a pile of gemstones on the floor. The room was lit up brightly by an unseen source of light. The light just existed in that room, without a candle or a fire.
None of this made sense to Spike. Two of him, one locked up in a bare and cold room, separated by a thick diamond wall from the other in a decorated, warm and lit up room but chained to its walls. And this certainly felt like no dream, nor reality. Usually, once he realised it was a dream, he took control of it, a skill that he developed over his lifespan.
Suddenly, the shapes and images started dispersing, and Spike felt a force pushing him out of the room. Into nothingness.
Then he awakened.