How do you start one of these stories? It's another fine day in Equestria? It's a dark and stormy night in Equestria? No, that's not right. There has to be some other way to start this story without it being a cliche. This particular story deserves an introduction more appropriate. So much occurred that just starting off with a line like "once upon a time" just seems degrading. How do I make it work? Celestia's sun was high in the sky and the citizens of Ponyville partook in their communal duties. Nope. I feel like I've read that line before...many times. Luna's moon produced a radiant glow upon the quiet Ponyville. Nah. That doesn't look right either. Oh, I got it! How about this?
Spike and Rainbow Dash were friends.
Yeah, I like it better now.
Anyway, Spike and Rainbow Dash were friends. Good friends, in fact. Besides the truth that the two were tied to the Elements of Harmony, they also had many common likes and interests. Both had a grand sense of humor, and that fact definitely aided in bringing the dragon and Pegasus closer together. Pranks and teasing amongst each other became the norm in social outings. Jokes and gossip had them snickering to themselves behind the backs of their friends. It was all in good, innocent fun. And the two appreciated the amount of normalcy produced through their mutual outputs. Their friendship was easy to understand and make sense thereof.
Spike amused himself by calling out to a speeding Rainbow Dash, in which he made aware of how awesome she looked when her mane left a glittering rainbow trail, but then commented on the possibility of said trail just being an extended passing of colorful gas. Rainbow Dash enjoyed making Spike flush in embarrassment, in which she would intermittently tease him about his painfully apparent crush on one white unicorn, then she'd hint at spoiling the young dragon's affections to said unicorn. Of course, though frequent frivolous acts between the pair ensued, Spike and Rainbow Dash cared for each other. Through thick and thin, the two had fought and experienced. Learned and grew. Their bond only strengthened at each passing day, for no obstacle had proven efficient enough to halt the progress of development. It was a relationship that shouted durability. A formidable adversary to those threatening to interrupt the sweetness and purity. It never seemed as if anything would ever come between them. They were just too cool to let anything get in their way.
Or so they thought. Because unbeknownst to Spike and Rainbow Dash, something was heading for them straight and steady. An idea, one might call it, gradually encroaching upon their playful haven. This entity was no slouch, either. It was strong, and it was about ready to begin the slow consumption of their friendship. Frightening some label it. Maddening most agree. Omnipotent all assume. Far sooner than later, it was coming. And it didn't plan on ceasing its plans for domination.
What was it, you ask? Well, isn't it obvious? It was love. Scratch that. It wasn't specifically love itself, but more like the idea of love. The idea of love was prepared to play with Spike and Rainbow Dash. The result of such preparation wasn't pretty, I'll mark. Though, in all truth, there was more than enough entertainment to sift through.
Spike's Rainbow Dash
"Check her out. Oh, what I'd do to jump on her bones." Snips, a goofy-looking pony, whispered surreptitiously to his companions. "She's hot. What do you think, Snails?
"Dah, yeah. She's hot. I think her friend's cuter, though." Snails, a taller goofy-looking pony, commented, directing his attention to the pale cream mare.
"Bon Bon?" Snips looked up to Snails incredulously. "Yeah, she's okay. But Lyra's way hotter."
"Whatever. I still think Bon Bon's prettier." Snails said, staring at the two mares chatting with each other at a distance. "I don't know why. She just has this way about her, you know? The way she trots."
"What do you think, Spike?" Snips nudged the purple dragon beside him. "Who's hotter? You gotta admit it's Lyra."
"No way. Spike knows it's Bon Bon." Snails assured.
"I don't know about that, Snails. I've always had a thing for horns." Spike rubbed his chin in contemplation.
"Ha! Told you. He's got the hots for unicorns, like Lyra." Snips pointed a hoof at the turquoise unicorn.
"However, I am attracted to light-colored coats." Spike continued his musing.
"Bon Bon wins that round, Snips." Snails nodded, grinning.
"It seems like he's just thinking about another mare. Somepony rare, I'd say." Rainbow Dash, the cyan pegasus with the need for speed, smiled coyly while eyeing Spike.
"Dash!" Spike gasped, flustered.
"Somepony rare? What does that mean?" Confused, Snips turned to Snails, who shrugged in response.
Two unicorns, a Pegasus and a dragon lounged lazily at a table in Ponyville. The weekly Sunday Farmer’s Market was crowded with many consumers from all parts of the surrounding areas. Ponies, mules and griffons alike shopped to their heart’s content, enjoying the pleasures of picking out fresh, organic food products provided by the local community. As the economically stimulating activity ensued, the two unicorns, the Pegasus and the dragon sat and discussed trivial matters of the male appetite: mares.
The topic of mares was always brought up when Spike and his guy pals, Snips and Snails, convened together for socialization. Yet at this moment, Rainbow Dash had entered the circle for an unexpected intervention. The Pegasus did not mind what the three had to offer in conversation, whether it involved mares or otherwise. She was used to giving her own input on the matters of females and attractions. Snips, Snails and Spike found Rainbow Dash’s presence to be both ironic and comforting. This was not the first time she decided to butt into their huddled discussions, and they knew it would probably not be the last. They were now accustomed to listening to Rainbow Dash’s personal opinions of the matters accounted for, and, initially a surprise, the two colts and dragon welcomed a mare’s perspective. No longer did the three male buddies find hindrance in the mind’s view of the Pegasus. In fact, they welcomed it. She was a friend they could confide in when befuddled by the actions of a fellow mare.
And although the advice, thoughts and ramblings from Rainbow Dash were interesting sources for social growth, Snips, Snails and Spike always wondered about her sexual orientation. Was Rainbow Dash actually a lesbian? She did not really have a problem talking about the mares with the guys? Was her rainbow-patterned mane an actual representation of her sexuality? The irony seemed baffling, yet the concept of it all was not so far-fetched.
“Come on, Spike. No need to hide it anymore.” Rainbow Dash giggled teasingly. “Everypony already knows.”
“Know about what?” Snails asked, still not comprehending the underlying message behind Rainbow Dash’s words.
Rainbow Dash laughed aloud. “Well, except for these two, of course!”
“Dash, stop it!” Spike waved his arms frantically.
“What’s she going on about?” Snips stared at the dragon quiver nervously.
“Nothing! She’s just saying stupid stuff. Pay no mind.” Spike replied heatedly.
“Yeah, yeah, pay no mind.” Rainbow Dash put a hoof to her head, sticking out her tongue to a fuming Spike. “But, yeah, if you asked me, Lyra’s the better-looking one.”
“Nopony asked you.” Spike said through gritted teeth.
“I win! Take that, Snails! Lyra Heartstrings is hotter!” Snips shouted in victory.
“Nuh, uh! Spike was going to say Bon Bon’s hotter! So it’s a tie!” Snails shook his head fervently.
“Hey, not so loud!” Rainbow Dash hissed as she ducked her head.
Spike looked in the direction of the two subjects of exchange and noticed both Lyra and Bon Bon shooting glares in the group’s general location. Due to Snips and Snails’ projected outcries for the mares’ competing attractiveness, half of the passersby in the market found it to be the victim of nonsensical chatter. Most ignored the group at the table while a few stopped what they were doing to glance around quizzically. Lyra and Bon Bon, however, were not too pleased to be the center of gossip.
“Oh, they’re coming over here!” Spike squeaked in a panic.
“What? Oh, no. Not good.” Snips attempted to duck under the table but just got stuck in between the surface top and the bench seat.
“Play it cool. Just play it cool, guys.” Rainbow Dash tried to calm down her anxiety-stricken companions.
Rainbow Dash suddenly considered bailing on the three and camp in the clouds a few meters away. It was not her fault her friends couldn't lower their voices appropriately. She did not need to be there in the first place.
“Oh, no, Rainbow Dash. You’re not leaving.” Spike quickly grabbed the pegasus’s hoof.
“What’s going to stop me?” Rainbow Dash struggled to be released by Spike’s iron-claw grip.
Spike smirked mischievously. “You’re the element of loyalty, remember? You gotta stay and be loyal, right?”
Rainbow Dash stopped for a moment before coming to a conclusion. “No, you’re the new me. Be loyal to yourself.”
“Too late.” Snails trembled helplessly as Lyra and Bon Bon finally arrived adjacent to the four.
“You four are really loud.” Bon Bon spoke first, taking priority to address Snips and Snails with an aggressive gaze.
“Seriously, what’s with you guys? Everypony’s affected by your idiocy.” Lyra joined in.
Snips and Snails shuddered in fear and embarrassment. Never before had they been confronted by the objects of their fantasies. In turn, Spike tried to ease the situation with a few wise words.
“We apologize for their rudeness, ladies. We’re just here to relax and enjoy the day.” Spike picked his head up to the sky.
“What about you?” Bon Bon turned her scowl to Spike. “We know you’re always talking about us behind our backs. Truthfully, it’s just disgusting.”
“Huh?” Spike was knocked back by the term disgusting.
“You’re a dragon, aren’t you? Time and time again you’re leering at us with a perverted smile. It’s not like you could actually get with any one of us. How does that even work? So weird.” Lyra dropped bricks on Spike’s dragonhood.
Spike was both shocked and appalled by Lyra and Bon Bon’s collective sentiments. Snips, Snails and Spike seemed to shrivel into themselves in shame. To Rainbow Dash, they looked pathetic and pitiable. Yet they were her friends, and as the loyal element she was destined to symbolize, the Pegasus brought her chest up in defense.
“Hey, leave them alone. They weren’t hurting anypony. All they were doing was complimenting your looks.” Rainbow Dash secured the last remaining ounce of dignity at the table.
Lyra scoffed at Rainbow Dash in response. “And what exactly are you doing with them?”
“It’s not the first time either. She’s probably also talking about us.” Bon Bon chimed in with a sneer.
“More like looking at us. I’ve never thought you’d be that way, Rainbow Dash. But I guess the rumors must have been true.” Lyra inched closer threateningly.
“What rumors?” Rainbow Dash continued to fortify the table with a countered glare.
Snips, Snails and Spike knew what was coming. They’ve heard the rumors about Rainbow Dash’s mysterious sexual orientation. It was actually a recurring topic of discussion among the male community of Ponyville. They were surprised themselves that the blue Pegasus was oblivious to the rumors. In the end, there was an agreement that nopony would ask in order to avoid an unexpected reaction. Until now, Rainbow Dash remained at peace with herself and the rest were satisfied with the unknown. Though now it seemed two mares were going to bring light to everything.
“Oh, don’t tell me you don’t know. Isn’t it obvious? You’re a lesbian, right?”
Rainbow Dash felt like she had been smacked upside the head with a shovel. That was the absolute last thing she expected to come out of the mare’s mouth. A lesbian? What were they talking about? Things need to be set straight once and for all.
“I’m not a lesbian.” Rainbow Dash stated simply, her visage remaining stern.
“That’s not what we heard.” Lyra turned to her best friend for confirmation. “You don’t have to hide it. We’ve all known it was true since forever.”
“Makes sense. Not only are you, well, you.” Bon Bon started. “But you’re always hanging out with the colts and probably ogling the mares with them.”
“What does that mean? Me being me?” Rainbow Dash’s face contorted in frustration. “And who cares if I hang out with the guys? They’re my friends! I can befriend anypony I want!”
“Whatever.” Lyra shook her head nonchalantly. “Nopony really cares. Just stop giving us those depraved looks already.”
“Depraved? I’ll show you depraved!” Rainbow Dash burst, allowing her composure to dwindle. “I may have saved Equestria twice already, but you guys can be sure I’ll leave you two in the dust next time!”
Lyra and Bon Bon were taken aback by Rainbow Dash’s eruption. Looking behind themselves, they noticed most of the market goers were now taking frequent glances over at the table. No doubt they’ve become alarmed by Rainbow Dash’s unstable state. Spike realized the tense atmosphere was only getting tenser, so he decided to buck up and stand atop the table for a cease of arms.
“Okay, everypony needs to calm down. Nothing good’s going to come from bullying and threats.” Spike had all three mares’ attention. “We’re all friends here. Come on, where’s the peace?”
Lyra and Bon Bon stepped back as a pair. They were planning to leave, anyway.
“We don’t need to be treated like this. Just stop behaving like dirty perverts.” Lyra turned to walk off followed by Bon Bon.
“Where do you think you’re going? Get back here and say it to my face!” Rainbow Dash bellowed in a fit.
Spike took necessary measures to grab Rainbow Dash’s tail as she rocketed herself towards the exiting mares. The young dragon’s feet dragged across the table as he was pulled to its edge. Good thing he dug his clawnails into the wood to keep himself from flying at tremendous speed. Throughout it all, Snips and Snails stared dumbly at the blue Pegasus wriggling and fighting off Spike’s grasp.
“Guys! A little help, please!” Spike’s grip on the rainbow-patterned tail loosened gradually.
“Dah, yeah!” Snails reacted first and grabbed onto Rainbow Dash’s tail, aided by Snips’s immediate involvement.
“Let go of me!” Rainbow Dash flapped her wings furiously.
“Dash, you need to calm down!” Spike grunted, hanging on as if his life depended on it. “You’re better than this! We all know you’re straight!”
“Yeah, yeah! You’re as straight as an…uh, what was it?” Snips looked to Snails for assistance.
“Straight as an ostrich’s neck?” Snails guessed.
“Yeah, you’re as straight as an ostrich’s neck!” Snips finished, squeezing his eyes tightly.
Rainbow Dash sighed as she slowed down the flapping of her wings. She knew it wasn’t worth fighting over something so trifling. Spike was right. She was better than this. Rainbow Dash hovered back to her original seat at the table after Spike, Snips and Snails finally released her tail. By this point the rest of the surrounding guests went back to their shop activities.
“It’s straight as an arrow.” Rainbow Dash marked before producing another sigh. “And it’s not that. I just hate being so disrespected.”
Spike and the two colts reseated themselves, relieved by the lack of further confrontation between Rainbow Dash and the two opposing mares. Finally relaxing once again, the three chuckled to alleviate any rigidity left by such a stressful moment.
“Dash, you really scared me back there. I really thought you were going to tackle them.” Spike smiled wryly.
“Gotta admit, though, it would have been a sight to see.” Snips joked.
“I probably would have if you hadn’t stopped me.” Rainbow Dash crossed her arms. “Grabbing onto my tail like that…I was about ready to take you guys with me.”
“They have no idea what they’re talking about, Dash. Forget them.” Spike reassured Rainbow Dash. “They aren’t so attractive either, if you ask me.”
“Eh, they’re still kind of hot to me. But I wouldn’t fall in love with somepony like that.” Snails pondered to himself.
“Yeah, I’d fall in love with somepony who can understand a guy’s needs.” Snips added.
“Good luck with that.” Rainbow Dash simpered, swimming a hoof through her unkempt mane. “Finding a mare to understand you guys would be a miracle.”
“Look who’s talking.” Spike pointed to Rainbow Dash. “You’re here, aren’t you?”
“Ha! That’s different.” Rainbow Dash laughed to herself. “I am just more mature than the rest of those girls. They’re too conservative for their own good. Ponies just need to chillax.”
“If only the other mares could think like that.” Snails laid his head flat on the table.
“A lesbian? As if!” Rainbow Dash frowned as she remembered why she had gotten so angry in first place. “Of course I’m straight! You guys knew that, right?”
There was only silence. Spike, Snips and Snails had no idea how to respond to Rainbow Dash’s inquiry. Should they say the truth? Should they lie? How does a friend avoid another volcanic outbreak?
Spike gulped. “Uh, well, you know, Dash, it’s a funny thing because…”
Snips gulped. “We kind of thought…that…”
Snails gulped, picking his head back up. “Dah, yeah…”
Rainbow Dash craned her neck over the table. “You guys, too?”
“We didn’t really know, actually. We knew you were tomboyish, but you always did hang out with us.” Spike said hurriedly. “But we didn’t care whether you were straight or not. Now we know, though!”
Snips and Snails nodded feverishly.
Rainbow Dash did not quite know how to react. She could kind of see why some would misunderstand her behavior. She did not feel betrayed, but she was not satisfied either. She wondered who else thought she was attracted to females. Sure, she was never interested in any males around her, but she knew for a fact that she was attracted to the opposite sex. Just because she was strong-willed, independent and could find humor in hanging with the guys didn’t mean she was a lesbian. She knew this, and she desired for her friends to understand as well.
“Well, I’m definitely straight.” Rainbow Dash sat back.
“Do you have anypony you like?” Snips asked without much thought.
Spike elbowed Snips, snickering. “I'd feel sorry for that colt.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Rainbow Dash blinked.
“You’d be hard to handle, Dash.” Spike grinned to himself. “That’s why I’m always looking at more feminine mares.”
“Me, too.” Snails wore a love-struck expression as he spotted a gray-colored Pegasus fly straight into a nearby mailbox.
“I could be more girly if I wanted to. I just choose not to.” Rainbow Dash argued
“Sure, Dash. Whatever you say.” Spike dismissed Rainbow Dash’s statement.
“Hey, I’m being serious here. In fact, I bet I could make even you fall in love with me!” Rainbow Dash uncrossed her arms.
Spike was amused by such a ridiculous declaration. “Not possible! No offense, but you’re not my type.”
“Well, you’re not my type either, but I bet I can be as attractive as any mare here.” Rainbow Dash motioned to their environs.
“I’m sorry, Dash. I’m not budging on this. There’s no way you’d find me ever falling for you.” Spike cackled, rendering Rainbow Dash gaping.
“Oh, yeah?” Rainbow Dash cooed with a twinkle in her eye. “I’m going to have fun seeing you fall head over heels for me.”
“Wait, what are we talking about now?” Snips kept looking back to Rainbow Dash and Spike.
“Like I said, not gonna happen.” Spike spoke blatantly, mouthing his words exaggeratedly for emphasis.
There is something you should know about Rainbow Dash: she never, ever backs down from a challenge, no matter how ludicrous and absurd the grounds for the challenge may be.
“Then it’s a challenge!” Rainbow Dash flew up to stand on the table boldly. “And I accept!”
“What now?” Spike raised an eyebrow questioningly.
“Dah, huh?” Snails came out of his love trance to find Rainbow Dash roaring.
“Wait, what’s happening now?” Snips repeated, still completely lost.
Rainbow Dash pointed a hoof sharply at Spike’s stubby dragon snout. “I bet I can make you fall in love with me! If I succeed, you lose! Then I can enjoy watching you grovel at my feet in lovesickness!”
Spike, speechless and utterly flabbergasted, remained stock still as he stared intently into Rainbow Dash’s eyes. All he saw was determination – pure, unadulterated, pristine determination.
“You’re serious.” Spike muttered stoically.
“Hay, yeah, I’m serious!” Rainbow Dash beamed triumphantly. “I’ll show you who’s straight as an ostrich’s ne-, er, an arrow!”
Snips and Snails’ eyes widened melodramatically. They saw everypony in the vicinity was now paying their unbridled attention to the purple dragon and blue Pegasus. A few whispered to each other, already beginning to indulge in the gossip that was sure to spread throughout Ponyville like a virus. This was going to be big, they could sense. Very big.
Spike chortled and produced a wicked smile. “Alright, Dash! Then I accept the challenge as well! But don’t come crying when you end up actually falling in love with me instead!”
Rainbow Dash spat onto the ground in disgust. “In your dreams!”
Spike looked down at the spit and rolled his eyes. “Strike one: no spitting, my little Dashie.”
“I-I knew that!” Rainbow Dash bounced high in the sky and flapped her wings. “Just you wait, my baby dragon!”
Rainbow Dash flew off and disappeared into the clouds. Spike, Snips and Snails now sat at the table in yet another moment of silence. Spike was still a bit stunned by the abrupt turn of events. What just happened? One moment Rainbow Dash was ready to pummel a few mares and the next she’s challenging the dragon to a love battle. Ponyville sure is a crazy place to live in. How he has survived up till now Spike could not figure. For now, though, he planned to be the victor of the love game against Rainbow Dash. He was in love with Rarity, after all. That sweet unicorn of majesty and elegance. The lovely pony that was the very symbol of generosity and femininity. The jewel to his eye. Nopony was going to get in the way between he and Rarity. Nopony.
I desired to make this story experience much more interactive than my previous stories.
This a message to all the readers on FIMfiction.net! Thank you all so much for your support, criticisms and reviews on my story! You guys are awesome! I have an important question for you all, though!
It is an "I HEART BANGKOK" shirt.
How does one continue a story like this? Ponyville’s citizens enjoyed yet another day filled with serenity and uninterrupted harmony? Well, that’s definitely not true. Sure, everypony desired to remain at peace within the very bounds of their refuge, but today wasn’t particularly the day to depend on such expectations. Why? To put it simply: things went down. Big things.
The obvious reason as to why Ponyville would not experience an easygoing pass of the day certainly weighed upon two individuals. A baby dragon and an adult Pegasus, both maturing at equally progressive rates, were the direct cause for the future lack of understood coherence. Because these big things were going to lead to quite a ruckus. Discordance and incoordination would soon overwhelm the days to come, and I must be forthright in confirming the hilarity of it all.
Spike and Rainbow Dash were friends. That’s already been agreed upon. Though it was this friendship that rocked Equestria like no other. Forget Nightmare Moon. Don’t even pay mind to Discord. Who’s Chrysalis again? Spike and Rainbow Dash’s bet was about to take everypony by storm. And, trust me, it was a sight to behold.
Spike’s Rainbow Dash
“What just happened, Spike? Rainbow Dash just freaked!” Snips jumped to emphasize his point. “Did you do something to her?”
“Don’t ask me what came over that crazy pony.” Spike dismissed the question with the roll of his eyes. “Dash just says stuff without thinking sometimes. I bet you she’s already regretting being so haughty earlier.”
“Dah, I don’t know, Spike. She looked kind of serious to me.” Snails thought back to the shocking scene at the marketplace. “So what are you going to do now?”
“Yeah, what’s next in this challenge?” Snips stressed the word challenge. “How are you going to win, anyway?”
Spike felt a smirk tug at the corner of his mouth. What were Snips and Snails going on about now? Were they really questioning how Spike planned to ensure a victory in this game of love? He truly believed his friends knew him better. He thought even these two colts could guess what he would do in this situation. It didn’t take a scholar to predict the following line of action for this farce.
“Nothing. Absolutely nothing.” Spike answered confidently.
“Nothing?” Snips and Snails repeated simultaneously, turning to each other with quizzical expressions.
After Rainbow Dash vanished above the clouds, Spike, Snips and Snails were left behind at the table near the Farmer’s Market. Rendered mute and utterly befuddled, the three decided to take a walk around Ponyville to clear their heads. Rainbow Dash suddenly challenging Spike to a battle of romance seemed too fictional an affair to even be taken seriously. What exactly did happen? Random was the only word valid enough for Spike to accept. Beyond random Spike could not comprehend the pegasus’s actions. Nonetheless, Spike was determined to not concentrate on Rainbow Dash’s behavior. Rainbow Dash was just being Rainbow Dash, right?
“Always filled with surprises, eh, Dash?” Spike muttered to himself, shaking his head slowly.
Meanwhile, Rainbow Dash soared through the blue skies of Ponyville at an exhilarating speed. Faster, faster, faster. More speed. More. The blue Pegasus rocketed forward, a faint rainbow trail following closely behind. She needed to go faster. She craved the endless sky before her. The wind resistance pulling at her face grew more forceful. The tight grip of the firmament attempting to slow her down was no match for the flying ace. She breathed in softly and continued to swiftly shoot ahead. Where was it? That special patch of cloud she loved to rest upon, where was it? She knew it was near, and at every passing second her longing for the cloud grew exponentially. Ah, there it was!
Rainbow Dash instantly slowed to a halt. She finally found the bit of white fluff she was searching for. The floating haven never failed to relax her. It was like her second home. Oftentimes Rainbow Dash snoozed atop this specific cloud. She actually ended up naming it McCloud. She didn’t know why she enjoyed this cloud more than others, and she didn’t really care to know. She just wanted to lie and let go.
Rainbow Dash flopped onto the cloud, exhaling heavily. “Oh, McCloud, what did I get myself into now?”
Rainbow Dash stared up at the expansive sky. Her mind raced and played back her declaration to earn Spike’s affections. What was she even thinking? That’s actually it. She wasn’t thinking. How was she going to make Spike fall in love with her? She couldn’t even see the first step to victory.
Feeling discouraged, Rainbow Dash closed her eyes with a sigh. “What now? I can’t just say I was kidding. I’ll look stupid in front of everypony.”
Rainbow Dash was a competitive pony. She’s known this about herself and everypony in Equestria has been made aware of this fact. Not only has she entered numerous racing competitions but she’s also taken leadership positions in athletic events. One prominent example included the Cloudsdale rainwater tornado event. She can handle opposing players in a game. Being the winner in all things was a goal embedded deep into her subconscious. However, the reality of winning at this new game with Spike was starting to make itself apparent. And she didn’t know how to react.
Rainbow Dash picked herself up and frowned. “Hold on! I am a fighter! No way am I going to let Spike think I can’t be attractive! I am a mare, for crying out loud!”
The cyan Pegasus suddenly remembered her reason for provoking Spike in the first place. Spike unashamedly insulted the legitimacy of her marehood. In fact, the tiny dragon ignored it altogether. Who did he think he was, saying he would never fall for her? According to Rainbow Dash, she was a catch! Spike was too cocky for his own good, Rainbow Dash thought. He deserved to be taught a lesson. Who better to make light of his ignorance than the star athlete of Ponyville?
Rainbow Dash licked her lips, rubbing her hooves together conspiratorially. “Oh, this is going to be too easy. You’ll get yours, Spike. Just you wait.”
The pony cackled to herself as a newfound drive for success overtook her. No matter what, she was going to win. No matter what! But before anything else, Rainbow Dash realized that, in order to play the game expertly, she needed to make a few adjustments to her appearance. The first thing that came to mind was her hooves. Rainbow Dash held her hooves up for observation. Dirt and soot were smeared all over, and she guessed her hair didn’t look any cleaner. Disheveled and unmaintained, her mane and tail just screamed apathy. She never cared to look fashionable. She didn’t have anypony to impress, after all.
“So…a makeover?” Rainbow Dash’s eyes widened in horror. “Aw, man!”
At that, Rainbow Dash bounced off McCloud and sped down back to Ponyville’s ground level. There was somepony she needed assistance from. The closer she got to her next destination the more uncomfortable she felt. She dreaded what was to come.
“Do it for the pride of your marehood!” Rainbow Dash told herself. “Do it for the glory!”
With a sharp grin, she continued on. No longer was she going to be hindered by hesitant judgments. They only got in the way. There was gold at the end of her path, and she was sure to overcome any obstacle presented. Because, to put it plainly, Rainbow Dash had a game to win.
Ponyville’s Carousel Boutique was bustling with activity. Up-and-coming fashion designer Rarity hurriedly trotted from one end of the shop to the other. Recently her apparel business has been booming, and the entrepreneur was both joyful and overwhelmed by the amount of orders needed to be dealt with. Her precious boutique was an absolute mess, clothes of varying colors scattered around and sewing utensils flying about. It couldn’t be helped, though, for she worked much more efficiently in this manner. Finishing up her dresses was her primary focus, and it wasn’t surprising that she couldn’t hear the occasional ring of an opening door.
“Rarity! I need your help!” Rainbow Dash rushed inside to find Rarity busily attending to her work. “Rarity! Hey, Rarity!”
Rarity hummed to herself as she used one of many sewing machines. That was until Rainbow Dash screamed the unicorn’s name right in her ear canal.
Jolted out of her reverie, Rarity fell forward. “Ah, Rainbow Dash! Don’t scare me like that!”
“About time you heard me.” Rainbow Dash stepped back. “You gotta help out with something.”
Rarity stood up straight and continued using the sewing machine. “Well, I apologize, Rainbow Dash, but as you can see I am quite restricted at the moment.”
“But this is important!” Rainbow Dash urged.
“Please, Rainbow Dash. Can’t it wait? I’ve just received twelve orders for my new diamond-encrusted dresses, and the deadline is nearing.” Rarity’s horn glowed brightly.
Rainbow Dash ducked from a pair of needles heading straight for her head. “But I need you now! Trust me, everything else can wait.”
“Oh, Rainbow Dash, what is it?” Rarity turned her head to Rainbow Dash, her patience wearing thin.
Rainbow Dash stood still in silence. She couldn’t believe she was actually going to say it. Was she really going to allow the words in her mind to come out of her mouth? Such an instance never before crossed her mind.
“No hesitance!” Rainbow Dash gritted her teeth and shouted. “Rarity, I need you to give me a makeover!”
Rarity froze. “W-What?”
It’s difficult to describe Rarity’s cognitive processes after she heard the word makeover. In retrospect, one must take into account Rarity’s position and background. Here was a unicorn that lived beauty. The very essence of beauty was her breath of fresh air. A pony well-maintained was a happy pony, she’s always thought. And just being confronted by one of her closest friends for a makeover was an outright blessing. A dream! And who just asked her to live and breathe? Rainbow Dash! One of the most unkempt ponies she’s ever known. She could not believe such an opportunity could come into existence.
Rarity’s blood boiled. Her pupils dilated to enormous proportions. A smile so wide it threatened to reach her forehead faced Rainbow Dash, and the Pegasus gulped nervously.
“Uh, Rarity?” Rainbow Dash leaned back cautiously. “So, uh, will you…help me?”
At that moment, Rarity exploded. “Will I? Oh, Rainbow Dash, you have made me the happiest mare in all of Equestria! Come, come! We have much to do!”
Rarity dropped everything she was doing and hugged Rainbow Dash tightly. “This will be one of the greatest experiences of your life, I’m sure! You’ll see, Rainbow! I’ll pretty you up so everypony on the block will fall for you in a heartbeat!”
Rainbow Dash smiled uneasily. “R-really? Everypony will fall for me?”
“Why, of course they will! They don’t even know what’s coming!” Rarity pulled back and cheered giddily. “First thing’s first, we need to take care of these hooves of yours.”
“I knew you were going to say that.” Rainbow Dash bit her lip. “It has to be done, huh?”
“Now I know you dislike having your hooves touched, but if you’re serious about this makeover you’re going to need to tough it out.” Rarity assured Rainbow Dash.
Rainbow Dash closed her eyes and sighed once again. “Okay. I leave it all to you, Rarity. I need to win by any means.”
“Win? Win what?” Rarity perked up curiously. “And what exactly brought on this change of heart?”
Rarity peered at Rainbow Dash in sweet, innocent wonder. She was so happy that Rainbow Dash was ready to commit to a makeover that what the Pegasus said next did not even faze her.
“I-I’m trying to get somepony to fall in love with me.” Rainbow Dash admitted, providing a slow and concise answer.
“How wonderful! I’m so happy for you, Rainbow Dash! What you’re trying to win is the special pony’s heart, yes?” Rarity said sweetly. “I’m so proud of you.”
“Y-yeah, I guess you could say that.” Rainbow Dash replied, nodding. “So when do we begin?”
“Why, right now! Off to the spa we go!” Rarity pranced around the shop and beckoned Rainbow Dash to follow closely. “You’ll have to tell me all about this stallion on the way, okay?”
“How about I tell you after the makeover?” Anxious, Rainbow Dash followed Rarity out of the boutique. “That way it will be more of a surprise.”
“What? But I want to know now!” Rarity pouted cutely.
“I just want us to focus on the makeover! That’s all!” Rainbow Dash insisted.
Rarity pondered for a second before replying. “Oh, alright then. We shall go now!”
Rarity and Rainbow Dash rushed to the acclaimed Ponyville Spa. On the way, Rainbow Dash deliberated whether she should tell Rarity of who she’s trying to impress. It was known throughout Ponyville that Spike had a huge crush on the purple-maned unicorn. A year ago everypony labeled it a childish infatuation, but recently Rarity’s shown startling representations of affection towards the baby dragon. Half of Ponyville marked the unicorn’s behavior to just be the result of stronger bonds, yet the other half considered the possibility of a mutual relationship. Rainbow Dash was on that half. She knew that Rarity was bound to find out about the bet between her and Spike, but Rainbow Dash didn’t know whether she should be the one to relay such information. How would Rarity respond to her plan to conquer Spike’s heart? Would she support her? Would she go against her? Would she even pay attention? In any case, right now Rainbow Dash was to receive a complete transformation in appearance.
Rainbow Dash whispered to herself. “This mare’s coming for you, Spike. You better watch yourself.”
Spike felt a shiver crawl up his spine as he arrived at his current residence. The Ponyville Library Treehouse stood tall and oozed education. He waved farewell to Snips and Snails before facing forward. Spike shook off any lasting goose-bumps and stepped inside to find Twilight Sparkle standing firmly before him. Everything inside seemed neat and organized, so Spike contemplated why Twilight Sparkle had that authoritative face she always has when she’s giving demands. Might as well ask.
“What’s up, Twilight?” Spike stepped around Twilight Sparkle and headed for the kitchen. “You look like you want to say something.”
“Spike.” Twilight Sparkle started, twisting her head to glance sternly at the baby dragon. “Is there something you need to tell me?”
“Huh? Like what?” Spike called from the kitchen. “I’m starving. What’s there to eat, Twilight?”
“Spike.” Twilight said again, moving to the kitchen to address her assistant. “What happened at the market today?”
Spike went motionless. “What do you mean?”
She wasn’t referring to what happened between him and Rainbow Dash, was she? How does she even know? Was she at the Farmer’s Market without Spike noticing? Did somepony tell her? But that means that other ponies are gossiping about it. Was Rainbow Dash’s cry for a challenge spreading so quickly?
“You know what I’m talking about, Spike.” Twilight Sparkle pushed. “Rainbow Dash is going to make you fall in love with her?”
Spike spotted Twilight Sparkle staring at him incredulously. “Oh, that? That was all just a joke, Twilight. No need to be so serious. How did you know about that, anyway?”
“Applejack told me. She’s also a participating farmer, remember?” Twilight Sparkle breathed. “She saw everything and warned me.”
“Warned you? Why use that word? There’s nothing to be worried about.” Spike reached for a nearby cabinet. “I’m not going to fall for Rainbow Dash, if that’s what you’re getting at.”
Twilight Sparkle scowled. “Spike, this is serious! A grown mare shouldn’t be declaring her love for a baby dragon!”
“Like I said, everything’s fine. She was just playing around. You know how she is.”
“Apparently not, because Applejack told me Rainbow Dash looked very serious about what she was saying. And, frankly, I don’t find it to be so funny.”
“What are you complaining to me for, then?” Spike argued back. “It’s not like I asked for Rainbow Dash to say something so troublesome.”
“Because, Spike, there’s now a betting pool for this little game you two are playing!” Twilight Sparkle came off as positively panicked.
Spike’s jaw dropped slightly. “Huh?”
“Pinkie Pie’s taken the role as bookkeeper, and now everypony’s putting in their bits to support their…” Twilight Sparkle faltered on the next word. “P-player.”
“Wait.” Spike’s jaw dropped even further. “What?”
“Oh, that pink pony. She doesn’t know when to stop, does she?” Twilight Sparkle began pacing back and forth. “We’re going to have to do something about this. I don’t know what to do yet, but I’ll figure out something.”
“Hold on!” Spike picked up his jaw. “Ponies are betting on Dash and me?”
“Not just ponies, Spike! Mules, griffons and I heard even a few Everfree Forest creatures are betting as well!”
“The Everfree F-f-forest?” Spike stuttered helplessly. “How did the news get there? Wait. I don’t understand. What’s happening, Twilight?”
Twilight Sparkle’s head peaked up. “I got it! Drastic times call for drastic measures!”
“What is it? What do I do?” Spike’s thought processes were as jumbled as Derpy’s sense of direction. “Tell me, Twilight!”
“Spike.” Twilight Sparkle stared deeply into Spike’s jaded eyes. “You must win.”
Spike steeled as he took a deep breath. “Huh?”
Rainbow Dash wriggled uncomfortably as she exited the Ponyville Spa. The time spent on providing a makeover was over, and now she and Rarity were headed back to the Carousel Boutique to try on dresses. Having the pegasus’s hooves washed and pedicured was more demanding of her will than she imagined, but with a scorching fire enlivening the fighting spirit within, Rainbow Dash persevered and triumphed. The pegasus’s mane and tail was now conditioned and straightened, and her silky coat was very sensual to the touch. How did anypony deal with hair like this? Rainbow Dash pictured herself in a kind of foreign exoskeleton, maneuvering around while hiding her true self - the interior that was rough and messy. But undergoing these sensations was a price to pay for victory.
“Rainbow Dash, I have the perfect dress for you to wear. I’ve been saving it for over a year now!” Rarity squealed in sheer joy.
“You saved a dress?” Rainbow Dash was taken aback. “Why?”
“I knew one day you would come to the other side.” Rarity skipped. “I only took it upon myself to be the provider for when the time was right.”
“Wow, thanks, Rarity.” Rainbow Dash hoof-pumped the air. “Now Spike is sure to fall for me!”
“Yes, yes, Spike will undoubtedly fall head over heels for you, Rainbow Da-“ Rarity cut herself off, he eyes narrowing inquisitively.
Rainbow Dash put her hooves to her mouth. “Uh, oh.”
“R-Rainbow Dash…” Rarity forced a smile, her left eye twitching. “W-who did you say you were trying to impress again?”
“Uhhhhhhhhhhhh….” Rainbow Dash droned as she began to flap her wings. “See ya!”
Rainbow Dash hurtled into the air and sped away from Rarity. “Thanks for everything, Rarity!”
“Rainbow Dash?” Rarity cried out to the distancing Pegasus. “Who are you trying to impress?”
Well, that was a close call. Not really, though, because Rarity was bound to figure out what was actually going on very soon. Unbeknownst to Spike and Rainbow Dash, and for many of the citizens of Ponyville, news of their love battle had already spread to the Equestrian Capital, Canterlot. With more ponies – especially those with extra funds, as are prevalent within the capital city – entered the betting pool hosted by Pinkie Pie, the overall odds growth boosted and proved tremendously profitable for the masses. Ponies and creatures from all backgrounds and lifestyles were now participating, from the Cutie Mark Crusaders to the Diamond Dogs. And all desired to profit one way or another. Even the Royal Princesses.
The Canterlot Castle was quiet. The Royal Guards stood stock still, fulfilling their duties to serve and protect. There were no scheduled diplomatic duties or arrangements for the day, so the magnificent edifice was rendered a lonely home atop a cliff. Outside in the gardens, Princess Celestia, the tall, sleek allicorn of the Sun, stood and put her ear to the sound of nature. Princess Luna, the dark, elegant allicorn of the Moon, strode towards the location of her sister.
“Sister, I am sure you have heard by now.” Luna spoke, taking her sister’s attention away from the sound of the garden. “It seems two of our subjects have started a little game.”
“Yes, I have been notified of this, Luna.” Celestia replied calmly. “Young Spike and Rainbow Dash are having a bit of fun, I see.”
“And I am positive the bookkeeper of this little game has already come into contact with you.” Luna nodded gently, an eyebrow rising faintly.
“That is correct. Pinkie Pie did come to me regarding the betting activities.” Celestia closed her eyes and awaited Luna’s response.
“It is also certain that you partook.” Luna stopped and noted the soft smile on her sister’s countenance.
“You got me, Luna.” Celestia’s eyes remained closed. “I did in fact bet a few bits.”
“But why, Sister?” Luna asked in a concerned tone. “The tendency to gamble has not always been your strongest feature, and how will your actions reflect upon the community?”
“Oh, Luna, nopony need be informed.” Celestia opened her eyes and winked to the Lunar Princess. “Besides, I am not the only one who decided to place a few bets.”
Luna eyed Celestia and flushed in embarrassment. She’s been caught. “W-Well, you are always telling me to get more involved with my subjects, so…”
“It is fine, little sister.” Celestia consoled Luna with a wave of her hoof. “Interesting, though, that we find ourselves betting while it is true we do not need the bits.”
“Tia, I know you.” Luna stepped forward. “You are not one to involve yourself for no reason. Although I am unable to understand your decision to do so.”
“I could say the same for you, Lulu.” Celestia addressed her sister by her nickname. “And I know who you are rooting for.”
“As do I for you.” Luna’s face was now inches away from Celestia’s.
“You are supporting Spike.” Celestia giggled.
“You are siding with Rainbow Dash.” Luna confirmed.
“Yes, I am.” Celestia locked a gaze with her sister. “I hope you do not interfere.”
Luna quickly stated. “You will not win.”
“Maybe. Maybe not.” Celestia mused.
“Our reasons for betting have nothing to do with finances. It is all a desire to be right.” Luna pointed out. “I plan to be right this time, Sister.”
Celestia maintained eye contact. “Bring it on.”
Hi, everypony! Pinkie Pie here! There's this really big thing going on right now, and I know you're all watching from Earth! So I decided to come by and collect your bets! I'm the bookie, you see! Everypony in Equestria's been handing in their own bits to vote for the winner! Dashie and Spike are sure in for a treat! So who do you think will win? The link below sends you to a poll I made! So get your hooves out and start voting! See you all later! We need to party soon, okay?
Place Your Bets!
As of August 28, 2012 at 10:20 p.m. Pacific Coast Time, over 1205 votes have been placed and the current results are:
2. PONYVILLE'S FU%#ED!!!
4. PINKIE PIE
How does one convey the ambitious nature of this epic? Spike and Rainbow Dash had a bet, and everypony took sides? No, that’s just too simple. To make note of the many differentiating opinions, clashing sentiments and widespread involvement serving as the very core of this tale takes effort. Ponies, mules, griffons, unknown creatures and deities had put forth investments so vast the shock factor was near improbable. Profit was on the agenda, and beings across the lands of Equestria desired a piece of that scrumptious pie. Who wouldn’t, though? A bandwagon traveled throughout and it was accepting anypony willing to board.
A certain pink pony had been preoccupied with the duty of keeping bets handed in by the gambling participants. In all truth, there was no other perfectly suited for the role of bookkeeper than Pinkie Pie. Her inherent energy and fortitude proved thoroughly beneficial when it came to collecting wages. She made it her sole purpose to allow everypony an opportunity to contribute. The second she heard of Spike and Rainbow Dash’s challenge, Pinkie Pie immediately jumped on the chance to play odds-matcher. A nonstop, maddened bouncing accompanied by bright smiles inevitably came forth. True to her character, the party pony toured all over Equestria and beyond. And she cherished every moment of it.
Pinkie Pie was having fun. Everypony was having fun, she supposed. Fun was most important for this challenge. And as long as Spike and Rainbow Dash continued to battle each other, the levels of entertainment presented were sure to skyrocket. Well, congratulations, Pinkie Pie, you succeeded. Because the biggest party in all of Equestria was about to begin.
We all know how parties of mammoth proportion often end, though, right?
Spike’s Rainbow Dash
“Spike, Rainbow Dash is most likely looking for you now.” Twilight Sparkle informed her number one assistant. “She is definitely planning something.”
“You might be right.” Spike rubbed his chin contemplatively. “If everypony’s placing bets on her challenge, then Dash will probably not back out now.”
“Precisely. Hence, it is absolutely necessary we set up our own plan to ensure you do not fall for her.” Twilight Sparkle’s horn glowed a bright purple. “I’ll research methods for avoiding confrontations and flirtatious behavior.”
“Do we even have a book like that?” Spike asked doubtfully, shaking his head. “And I keep telling you there’s no way I would ever fall for her.”
“I know that, Spike.” Twilight Sparkle floated a thick book to her face. “But being ready for anything is better than being unprepared.”
Spike face-palmed himself and sighed. “I know you, Twilight. There’s no way I can stop you from studying this, is there?”
“Nope.” Twilight Sparkle flipped through the pages of the book. “Spike, take notes. We’re going to nip this thing in the bud once and for all.”
“Twilight, we don’t need to do this.” Spike assured his mother figure. “If this thing’s for real, then I’ll fight back with everything I have.”
“I can’t rely on that, Spike.” Twilight Sparkle replied, floating a parchment and quill to Spike.
“Why not?” Spike ignored the writing utensils orbiting his body.
“I don’t want to get into this, Spike. We need to concentrate.” Twilight magically opened another book beside her.
“Twilight, you’re going to need to trust me. I can resist anything Dash brings my way.” Spike then blushed softly. “B-Because…I like Rarity, remember?”
“That’s exactly why I feel we need to study, Spike.” Twilight Sparkle began speed reading. “You’re prone to falling for mares that exude physical attractiveness. Remember what happened when Apple Bloom’s hoop ring fixed up my hair like Rarity’s?”
Embarrassed, Spike flushed harder. “T-that was completely different! A-Anyway, Rainbow Dash doesn’t have any of those features. I can’t even think about seeing her in that way.”
“What if Rainbow Dash knows about your weakness, Spike?” Twilight Sparkle shuddered, glancing over her book. “What if she got a makeover?”
Spike couldn’t help but grin. “Impossible. Dash would never go that far.”
“We don’t know that, though.” Twilight returned to her book. “Now grab those writing tools and let’s begin.”
“No, Twilight.” Spike pushed away the parchment and quill. “I’m going to handle this. Everypony’s getting worked up about nothing.”
Spike turned and attempted to exit the Library Treehouse. He was almost out the door when he suddenly found himself halting. His legs did not move forward. Peering back, Spike knew the unicorn’s lit appendage was the cause for his frozen state. Twilight Sparkle’s eyes allowed Spike to understand his close friend’s concern and uneasy conviction. She feared for Spike, and it was discernable she was only looking out for his innocence. During the years under her watch, Spike had always been shielded and kept safe by her maternal instincts. Her constant displays of friendship held together their relationship, and the two experienced harmony in this manner.
“Twilight.” Spike produced a genuine smile. “Trust me, okay?”
“I just don’t want you to get hurt.” Twilight responded quietly.
“I won’t get hurt. I promise.”
Twilight Sparkle brought her head down, the luminosity of her horn growing faint. “Okay, Spike. I’ll trust you.”
Spike stretched his legs and nodded buoyantly. “I’ll be back.”
At that, Spike left his home behind and started his search for the cyan Pegasus. He had to admit Pinkie Pie outdid herself once again. Bringing everypony into the mix of their challenge was not what the baby dragon anticipated. Yet Spike guaranteed himself that whether the game persisted or not, he was sure to bring an end to it. Even if he had to achieve a win. It was time to show Ponyville what he was truly made of. His forte was not to be taken lightly.
Rainbow Dash waited impatiently atop the clouds for Spike. Where was he? Spike couldn’t have been slower than this particular moment in time. Scanning the grounds below, the Pegasus searched for the victim of her perfect plan. As soon as Spike comes upon her brand new look, he would fall into a love coma right then and there, she figured. Rainbow Dash fantasized the look of amazement on Spike’s mug as he stood before her grace and beauty. She squealed in sheer eagerness, squeezing her hooves together tightly. She just couldn’t wait to blow Spike away! She planned to part the clouds slowly to produce a spotlight of sun, and then leisurely descend from the heavens like an angel. The flutter of her wings and the sparkle of her exterior would be a sight for the ages, she imagined.
“Where is that dragon?” Rainbow Dash murmured to herself.
“He’s coming, Rainbow Dash. I saw him just now, and he’s looking for you.” A familiar voice answered.
“Aw, yeah! Thanks, Derp-!”
Rainbow Dash stopped and realized the gray-coated Pegasus, Derpy Hooves, was standing next to her.
The rainbow-maned Pegasus leapt back in shock. “Derpy! What are you doing here?”
The cross-eyed mailpony beamed. “Hi, Rainbow Dash! I’m here to offer my assistance!”
Rainbow Dash blinked. “Uh, what? Assistance?”
“Yes! I want to make sure you win this challenge. So I’ve come to give you a hoof.” Derpy Hooves confirmed, nodding. “You look so pretty, by the way.”
Rainbow Dash blushed at the compliment. The tomboyish mare wasn’t quite used to the new look, and she didn’t take into account other ponies seeing her like this while the challenge remained. Looking like Rarity was very awkward, to say the least.
“T-thanks, Derpy.” Rainbow Dash avoided eye contact with her friend. “But I don’t really need help right now. I can handle this by myself.”
Rainbow Dash recalled the last instance she worked together with Derpy Hooves. Frankly, the mailpony was a clutz, and each time she involved herself in a task, the result often amounted to destruction. Allowing the clumsy Pegasus into her foolproof plan of love was the last thing on Rainbow Dash’s want list. Nevertheless, she appreciated her companion’s intentions. Derpy Hooves was a dilligent pony with a kind heart. It wasn’t her fault for having sight partially disabled by crossed eyes. And now that Rainbow Dash pondered on it, Derpy Hooves was quite the inspiration.
“I’d be great help, though.” Derpy Hooves moped, eyeing Rainbow Dash pleadingly.
“Well, I don’t know, Derpy. I think I’ll be fine by my-“ Rainbow Dash’s peripheral vision caught the image of a tiny dragon. “Oh, Spike’s here!”
Rainbow Dash flapped her wings like a hummingbird. The time has finally come! Her marehood was going to be apparent more than ever. Spike’s defeat was imminent.
“I need to hurry up and move these clouds!” Rainbow Dash spoke aloud. “He’s coming right this way!”
“Let me do it!” Derpy Hooves insisted avidly. “I won’t let you down, Rainbow Dash!”
“Fine! Fine! Just do it now!” Rainbow Dash ordered without hesitance, not thinking too much on her decision. “Oh, this will be awesome!”
Spike sought out Rainbow Dash like a predator on the hunt. After an hour of exploring Ponyville, the baby dragon brooded over whether the blue Pegasus was flying high above the clouds. If so, then maybe she finally discovered how ridiculous her announcement for a battle actually was. Hiding from her mistake seemed typical Rainbow Dash behavior, and Spike considered alternative options for finding her. Should he request aid from another Pegasus? He could ask if the pegasus can scavenge the skies for Rainbow Dash. Where exactly is that pony?
“Looks like I won already.” Spike chuckled, speaking to the clouds above.
“Ha! Guess again, Spike!”
“Huh?” Spike blurted out, dumbfounded.
The white clouds he had been addressing just before spread apart, producing a window for the sunlight to brightly shine through. Spike was rendered immobilized as he witnessed a scene that jolted his senses. What the dragon saw he could not for the life of him comprehend. To grasp such an event was near impossible. How was this real? Right in front of him was somepony he’s never seen in the entire time he’s been alive. A mare, he concluded. An exquisite mare. A mare so beautiful that the very notion of looking away was blasphemy. The mare’s silky cyan coat twinkled radiantly, reflecting the very firmament she was meant to represent. Her polychromatic mane glistened and rested comfortably atop her cute face, waving into a tiny curve at her strands’ end. A variegated tail appeared to be responding to the air resistance as it flittered lightly, mesmerizing Spike for all the loveliness the mare was worth. Who was she? Who was this goddess of exotic colors?
“Wow.” Spike breathed in. “She’s amazing.”
“That’s right! I’m amazing!” The mare agreed arrogantly, laughing. “He, he! You’re so falling for me right now, aren’t you? You just didn’t want to listen to reason, did you? Ha! I so win!”
Spike felt like he had been run over by a freight train. What did the mare just say?
Spike fell over, completely dazed. “Rainbow Dash?”
“In the flesh! Just look at me now!” Rainbow Dash hung in the air, putting her hooves to her hips. “You can’t help but fall in love with this! You know it!”
“You got a makeover? Wait. H-How is this possible? Why?” Spike supported himself on his hands.
“To win, of course! So, how about it? I won, righ-“ Rainbow Dash started.
Suddenly, a streak of lightening engulfed Rainbow Dash in a sharp flash. Spike yelped as he was flown backwards into the dirt ground. Neither the dragon nor the Pegasus registered what happened, for it occurred too quickly and abruptly. The floating Pegasus was shocked to kingdom come. As a weather pony, she was used to receiving the occasional shock from a rain cloud, so the Pegasus was only stunned briefly. She seemed to be fine internally. However, one could not say the same for the external.
Rainbow Dash stared ahead, eyes widened and mouth agape. Her mane and tail no longer held the magnificence it exhibited recently but now looked charred and blackened. Smoke seeped from the mare’s roughed up coat. In a split second, Rainbow Dash’s makeover was gone.
“Oops!” Derpy Hooves peeked over the clouds apologetically. “I'm sorry, Rainbow Dash! It was an accident!”
“Derpy!” Rainbow Dash barked angrily.
Derpy Hooves hid behind the clouds, her voice growing faint as if she were distancing herself from the scene of the crime. “I just don’t know what went wrong!”
The sounds of snickering could be heard from the ground. Snickering became cackling, cackling transitioned into full-on laughing, and the laughing burst into a howl of pure hysteria. Spike lied flopped on the ground, convulsing and crowing in shrieks and uncontrollable fits of laughter. The look on Rainbow Dash’s face was absolutely priceless! He should have taken a picture of it. If only everypony was around to see it.
Rainbow Dash flew to the ground in a huff. “What’s so funny? You think this is funny?”
“Oh, you almost got me, Rainbow Dash, I’ll give you that!” Spike crowed, wiping a tear from his eye. “But you didn’t really think it would work out in the end, did you?”
“So, what, you’re not in love with me?” Rainbow Dash tested, irritated that her efforts were all for naught.
“Not even close.” Spike stood up, facing Rainbow Dash with a smirk.
“Well, it’s just the beginning! I’m not going to stop until you fall for me!”
“Are you still saying that?” Spike guffawed once again. “Okay, Dash! Fine! If you’re going to be serious about this, then I will, too!”
“You’re not going to see me giving in, Spike.” Rainbow Dash grinned, spreading her forehooves. “This was just a minor setback.”
“Then it’s my turn to roll the die.” Spike cooed smoothly. “Rainbow Dash, want to go on a date?”
Rainbow Dash remained still as she mulled over the words spouted from the mouth of the baby dragon.
Now you're probably asking yourself ‘Why is Spike asking Rainbow Dash out on a date? Isn’t he trying not to fall in love with her?’. Well, before I leave you hanging desperately off a steep cliff, I’ll throw you these words.
Spike had a plan.
Thank you all again for your comments, reviews, criticisms and support! I have another question for you all!
It is an "I HEART SINGAPORE" shirt!
I just entered this contest with Domo-kun for Spencer's.
The reason why I am posting this on FIMfiction is because I most likely would not have entered if it weren't for the awesome support of the readers. You guys give me laughs and new ideas, and I actually got the idea to go out and do this because of the things I have read on FIMfiction. This is for all the bronies out there! Live life to the fullest!
The contest rules are: Make a 30 second video of you rocking out with Domo.
The link below will lead you to vote for my video. A thumbs up would be heavily appreciated from my brony pals! Thank you for any consideration, and I hope you enjoyed the video.
Link To Vote For Video
The Video was shot with an iPhone. That's why I look like a midget. I am actually 6'2''. Haha!
“You heard me. Want to go on a date with me?”
“You’re asking me out?” Rainbow Dash asked, suspicious of Spike’s spontaneity.
“Yeah, I am.” Spike confirmed with a nod. “I’m thinking a nice little picnic would be nice. How about it?”
“I don’t understand.” Rainbow Dash shook her head, confused. “Aren’t you trying to fight me on this? I mean, don’t get me wrong, going on a date would just bring me one step closer to victory, but I don’t get why you’re asking first.”
Spike crossed his arms and snorted. “Who cares why I asked? If you’re so set on making me fall for you, then you should just accept right away, right? What, are you scared now?”
Rainbow Dash’s eyes thinned conspicuously, staring daggers. “I’m not scared of anything.”
Rainbow Dash then put a hoof to her chest and announced assertively. “I accept! You’re on, Spike! This is going to be the greatest date you’ll ever go on…ever!”
Spike produced a toothy grin. “One hour. Usual picnic spot. Be there.”
“Bring your A-game! Because your heart's mine!” Rainbow Dash grinned back excitedly.
Rainbow Dash’s heart palpitated ferociously. She hadn’t been this excited since being invited into the VIP crowd by the Wonderbolts at the Grand Galloping Gala. The game was definitely getting to her head, and she loved it. The competitive atmosphere was strong between she and Spike, and the Pegasus took pleasure in having to overcome an even greater challenge than before. This was going to be fun, Rainbow Dash concluded whole-heartedly. This was the real deal. Spike was hers!
Instantaneously, the two contending forces rushed to their next destination. Spike sprinted while Rainbow Dash soared. Both the dragon and the mare had to prepare for the upcoming date, and the limited amount of time pushed them forward in great haste. The games had officially begun. Both sides now geared for action, the love battle was initiated under the scorching sun.
Ponyville’s Golden Oaks Library oozed an ominous aura. Unsuspecting ponies passing by the towering Treehouse immediately experienced an uneasy sensation, inevitably quivering noticeably in response. And as the tense passersby found themselves quickly moving away from the source of uneasiness, a wave of relief gradually washed over them. Whatever that was inside the Library Treehouse certainly exuded a pressure reminiscent of overwhelming stress.
Inside, an anxious purple unicorn sporadically paced about her home. She frequently turned her head to the candlestick emblem etched on the front door to confirm the absence of one purple dragon. The mare could not believe she had been put under so much worry, and as she cogitated the many scenarios that could go wrong for her number one assistant, the pony’s edgy state of mind dramatically spiraled into peril.
“Spike, what exactly are you doing?” Twilight Sparkle spoke aloud, turning her head once more to the front door.
As if answering Twilight Sparkle’s perturbed questioning, the front door swung open in a full sweep, presenting the image of a heavily breathing baby dragon. There stood Spike, his chest inflating and deflating rapidly to doubly allow oxygen to enter his lungs. Sweat dribbled down his glimmering scales. His shoulders bobbed up and down, trembling slightly. Spike had been running, Twilight observed.
“Spike!” Twilight galloped hurriedly towards the dragon. “What happened? What’s wrong?”
“R-Rainbow Dash…” Spike heaved, bending over and resting on his knees. “Going on…a date…”
Did Spike just say what she thought he just said?
Twilight Sparkle feared for the worst. “Spike, please don’t tell me! Don’t tell me you fell in love with her!”
“Twilight…listen…” Spike continued to pant loudly, attempting to catch his breath. “Dash…and I…”
“I knew it! Spike, don’t you get it? She’s just going to hurt you in the end!” Twilight Sparkle turned away, frustrated. “I have to fix this. Where is she right now, Spike?”
“Twilight…listen to me…” Spike stood up, stepping forward slowly. “We’re going on…a date because…”
“I’m not going to let her trick you like this, Spike. That pony’s just gone too far this time.” Twilight Sparkle turned back, ignoring Spike’s wheezing.
“Twilight!” Spike’s breathlessness neared an end as he winded down. “Listen to me!”
“I’m heading out.” Twilight headed for the open door. “Don’t worry, Spike, I’ll-“
“Twilight, I’m not in love with her!” Spike halted Twilight in her tracks. “You gotta help me with something. I’m going on a date with her in an hour, and I need food!”
“What’s going on? If you’re not in love with her, then why are you going on a date with her?” Twilight argued, annoyed at her ignorance of the situation.
“No time to explain. I need to start cooking some treats, but I can’t possibly make enough food in an hour!” Spike replied as he ran inside the adjacent kitchen. “I need you to get some pies from Applejack or something! Just set up the picnic blanket where we usually eat at, and leave the food there!”
Unable to fully take in Spike’s rambling, Twilight called back. “A picnic? Why are you doing all this? I can’t follow your reasoning at all, Spike.”
Spike appeared at the foot of the kitchen entrance wearing a white apron specifically sized for his small stature. The baby dragon rubbed his hands together and licked his lips energetically. His mind raced as he mentally assembled his plan to defeat Rainbow Dash at their game. The dragon was a bit surprised by his own enthusiasm for the date, though he realized it must have been the warring nature of the battle that urged him on. Spike was finally recognizing the challenge, and Rainbow Dash’s unfazed mindset only encouraged the male deep inside to dominate. He was ready for her, and she for him, he knew. Rainbow Dash was going to learn a new lesson about dealing with a dragon. For it was on!
“I’m following your advice, Twilight.” Spike answered matter-of-factly. “I’m going to win.”
Ponyville’s Carousel Boutique was no longer bustling with activity as it had previously in the day. The young fashionista seemed to be functioning much more slowly than she was used to when the demand for work exceeded short orders. She could not quite make sense for her lack of drive, and at each overbearing tick of the clock Rarity grew more unsatisfied. What was she unsatisfied with? She did not really know. All she knew, though, was that a deadline was advancing, and she was still ages away from finishing the many dresses on line. The unicorn continued dispassionately, letting out the occasional sigh while trying to focus on the tasks at hand. What was wrong? Why was she feeling so down?
Then she remembered the words of one cyan Pegasus. Rainbow Dash’s declaration to obtain Spike’s innocent heart was troubling to Rarity. Soon after Rainbow Dash left Rarity exasperated and filled with inquiries, fellow ‘quills and sofas’ shopkeeper Davenport confronted the unicorn and informed her of a particular betting pool spreading throughout the town like wildfire. At first Rarity remained silently still as she swallowed the new information.
“So, who should I bet on, Miss Rarity?” Davenport had whispered as he huddled closer to Rarity. “We can work together on this, you know. Our combined business sense may come in handy in predicting the winner.”
Rarity had forced a smile in response. “Oh, I do not believe I’ll be participating, Mr. Davenport. I am just too swamped right now with orders from Canterlot, and I may not have the time to come up with any kind of prediction.”
Davenport had frowned disappointedly. “Ah, is that so? Well, I am more leaning towards Miss Dash, but I don’t know, though. Spike is a fine young dragon, and he could very well-“
“Bet on Spike.” Rarity had cut off Davenport straightaway.
“Huh. Yeah, maybe I should. Thank you, Miss Rarity.” Davenport had smiled to himself in thought. “Are you sure you won’t take part in this? Everypony’s doing it now, it seems.”
“I’m sure.” Rarity had then promptly moved on, leaving Davenport to wave farewell.
Now Rarity sat at her sewing machine, operating robotically and mindlessly. Somehow she knew that Rainbow Dash was the cause for her current distress. Or was Spike the cause? The unicorn lowered her head, irritated at her own conflicting sentiments. Why was she so bothered by this? What was making her feel such inconvenience?
“Rarity! I need your help again!” The rainbow-maned Pegasus on the unicorn’s mind darted inside the boutique, crashing into a mannequin. “Don’t ask me why I look like this! I need another makeover! Now!”
“Rainbow Dash?” Rarity bounced off her seat in shock. “W-What are you doing?”
How many times was Rainbow Dash planning to interrupt her work today? Why did she have to choose today of all days?
Rarity scowled at her friend temperately. “Rainbow Dash, as you already know I am quite busy.”
“Never mind that! This is important!” Rainbow Dash waved off Rarity’s concerns. “I know the last makeover was messed up, but I need your skills for a new, more awesome-looking one! You know, one that can win anypony’s heart!”
Rarity clicked her tongue. “For what? So you can snatch up Spike’s heart like a ball at a hoofball match?”
Why use the word ‘snatch’?, Rarity wondered to herself. And why behave so cross? Hardly ladylike.
“Oh, right.” Rainbow Dash said as it dawned on her that Rarity knew the object of her desire. “You heard about that, huh?”
“Well, you did tell me initially.” Rarity went back to her sewing machine. “And I am also aware of the betting surrounding your little game.”
“Betting? What betting? You mean my bet with Spike?” Rainbow Dash, ignorant of the betting pool, questioned Rarity.
“Oh, you haven’t heard? Everypony in Ponyville is betting on the…” Rarity gulped softly, furrowing her brows. “…winner of your game.”
Rainbow Dash jumped to her hindhooves and shouted. “Really? That’s so cool! I had no idea ponies were getting so into this!”
Rainbow Dash beamed, proud as ever. “Now everypony will see the loveliness that is Rainbow Dash! Alright! I’m pumped now! Rarity, I really need your help on this. You can tell Lotus and Aloe how to fix up me up like last time.”
Rainbow Dash figured Rarity, whether she was truly uptight about the challenge or not, would once again immediately become thrilled by the prospect of providing another makeover. This was the opportunity of a lifetime! Never in her life did Rainbow Dash guess she would desire two make-up and hairdo sessions in one day. Rarity loved transforming ponies into more fashionable items. So she’d be happy to do this for her friend, Rainbow Dash assured herself. Maybe now she could wear the dress Rarity had been saving especially for her. That’d show Spike!
Oh, how wrong Rainbow Dash was. Because Rarity was not too amused by the pegasus’s willingness to partake in such a match of wits and love. In fact, to Rarity her friend’s behavior came off as cruel and heartless. How dare Rainbow Dash trick her into overseeing a makeover for such superficial intentions? Spike wasn’t to blame at all, Rarity ruminated. He was the guiltless baby dragon duped into a challenge he did not even want to be a part of!
Rarity stopped sewing, still facing away from Rainbow Dash. “I’m sorry, Rainbow Dash. I am too busy at the moment. You’ll have to make do by yourself.”
“What?” Rainbow Dash gasped at Rarity’s unexpected answer. “Are you sure? I mean, I’m actually asking for another spa session here.”
“I must refuse.” Rarity replied sternly. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a deadline to make.”
Rainbow Dash heard the humming of the sewing machine run. She couldn’t believe it. Rarity actually refused her offer to get made-up. So what was next? Spike obviously had something planned for the nearing date, and Rainbow Dash desired to be equipped with at least a plan of her own. The athlete felt the need to counter any future attacks sent her way, yet she did not even take into account Rarity’s negation. The option of attempting a self-makeover was definitely out of the question. Was Rainbow Dash going to be forced to enter the spa alone? She deduced Lotus and Aloe being able to reproduce their last session wasn’t impossible. Should she head over to the Day Spa now?
Rainbow Dash was at a loss for the next course of action. She was a bit upset by Rarity’s unyielding denial to aid, though the Pegasus understood Rarity’s surviving business was just as important - if not more important - as the results of the challenge. Rainbow Dash suddenly came upon guilt for having disrupted her friend’s duties. As the element she was meant to represent, Rainbow Dash decided it was best to leave Rarity to her own tasks in peace.
“Sorry for bothering you, Rarity.” Rainbow Dash apologized as she hovered to the front door.
Confident, Rainbow Dash picked her head up. “I’ll take care of it myself then. Thanks for the help before.”
Rainbow Dash departed from the Carousel Boutique, rising towards the bright blue sky. Rarity kept at her mute embroidery at the sewing machine. Nothing was wrong. Spike couldn’t possibly fall for such feeble deception, Rarity secured herself. Rainbow Dash had no idea what was coming.
“I don’t know why…” Rarity muttered inaudibly. “I feel this way.”
Rarity lifted her hooves off of the half-stitched fabric. “Spikey-Wikey will win. He loves another mare.”
The unicorn sniffed discretely, liquid welling up in her azure eyes. “For he loves me.”
A third of the time allotted, until Spike and Rainbow Dash’s fateful date, passed by in hectic routine. Twilight finally arrived at Sweet Apple Acres, the rural countryside and home of the famous Apple Family, to find Applejack, an orange earth pony with a southern tongue, busily bucking apple trees. After confronting Applejack about the plans for a picnic date, the earth pony made light of her overall opinion of the entire debacle.
“Ah’m sorry, Twilight. But I ain’t gettin’ involved in no date.” Applejack said, moving onto the next apple tree. “I got a funny feelin’ about all this, and I’d feel safer not bein’ a part of it.”
“But, Applejack, Spike could seriously be in trouble right now.” Twilight debated, following Applejack. “I agree this whole thing is ridiculous.”
“Then why make it worse by doin’ this date thing in the first place?” Applejack jutted her hindhooves back with great strength, causing a multitude of red fruits to fall in her basket sacks. “Don’t make no sense, if you ask me.”
“Spike claims he has a plan to make Rainbow Dash stop all this.” Twilight assured. “You know how Rainbow Dash can get, Applejack. She won’t stop until she is satisfied. And she’ll only be satisfied with a victory.”
“Ya got that right.” Applejack bucked the apple tree once more, collecting more produce. “That mare don’t know when to quit sometimes.”
“We need your help right now, Applejack. A few apple pies would suffice. All paid for, of course.” Twilight Sparkle pleaded, bringing her face closer to Applejack’s snout.
“Oh, Twilight, I don’t know.” Applejack scratched her head in uncertainty. “We should just let em’ settle it by themselves. And I’d never let you pay for our pies. You know that.”
“If Rainbow Dash wins, she could really break Spike’s heart.” Twilight stated in sincere worry. “That wouldn’t be good for anypony. You and I both know that.”
Applejack thought of the repercussions. Twilight was right, she knew. If Rainbow Dash did win Spike’s affection, would she immediately dump him afterwards? What would that do to Spike? What would that do to their friendship? How would everypony else be affected? What about the elements of Harmony?
Applejack sighed in defeat. “Okay, Twilight. We’ll try it Spike’s way. But I’m tellin’ you I have a real funny feelin’ about this. Things are about to get weird.”
Twilight, relieved by Applejack’s acceptance, said. “We’ll just have to be ready, then.”
Half an hour was left until the time of eve, and Pinkie Pie, the bright pink party pony of Ponyville, bounced about Sugarcube Corner exuberantly. Wearing a green visor atop her head to fit the role of the bookkeeper, Pinkie Pie called out to the audience of gamblers shouting out bets and frantically waving Equestrian currency. Hundreds of ponies plugged the entire first floor of the large edifice, a few dozen having been stuffed into the kitchen. Many others waited outside and peered through the windows. Members of varying species and backgrounds crowded the Cakes’ sweets shop. Chief Thunderhooves the buffalo, two Diamond Dogs, Iron Will the minotaur, Philomena the phoenix, the cockatrice – who wore sunglasses at the request of Pinkie – and even the Great and Powerful Trixie huddled around Pinkie Pie, awaiting for the special announcement they had been notified of.
“The Great and Powerful Trixie demands you hurry up and tell us about this announcement!” The cloaked unicorn barked out, followed by the approving shouts from the rest of the spectators.
“YEAH!” Yelled Snowflake, a brawny Pegasus with the cutie mark of a dumbbell.
“Just get on with it.” Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon demanded simultaneously.
“Is Rainbow Dash winning?” Scootaloo’s voice was heard from beneath the horde. “Rainbow Dash is winning, right?”
“No way! Spike is going to beat Rainbow Dash at her own game!” Sweetie Belle’s voice squeaked.
“Rainbow Dash has got this in the bag. That mare’s tough.” Soarin’ the Wonderbolt commented from the back.
“My bet’s on Spike! Go Team Spike!” Vinyl Scratch hoof-pumped the air. “Octavia, who are you voting for?”
“Rainbow Dash, of course. Do you think that dragon’s maturity level can resist the advances of any mare?” Octavia answered snootily. “Please.”
“Hey, Spike’s more mature than you’ll ever be! He’s a man!” Iron Will bellowed at the top of his lungs.
“Did you even know Spike?” Pipsqueak’s voice responded.
Iron Will shrugged, snorting. “No matter. I heard he’s a dragon. So he must be monstrous in size. He’s a winner for sure.”
“He’s, like, smaller than me.” Bon Bon scoffed, followed by laughter from her companions.
“He’s what?” Iron Will screamed. “Hey, you pink pony! Twenty bits on Rainbow Dash!”
“Pinkie Pie, just tell us! What’s going on now?”
“Come on! I got fifty bits riding on this!”
“Yeah, what is it, Pinkie? Ah’ve come all the way from APPLE-LOOSA!”
“Squak!” The cockatrice screeched.
“Caw!” Philomena cawed.
“Okay, everypony! Hold your horses!” Pinkie Pie giggled at her own pun, spreading her forehooves wide apart. “You’re going to love this! Because Spike and Rainbow Dash are going to…”
Pinkie Pie noticed everypony leaning forward, listening intently to every word coming from her mouth. Enjoying the attention, Pinkie Pie decided to milk it for all it was worth.
“On the other hand, I could just tell you all later!” Pinkie Pie watched as everypony groaned in sheer irritation.
“Just tell us!” Roseluck, the floral pony, prompted.
“How rude.” Octavia said.
“Hurry it up, will you?” Lyra Heartstrings cried.
“I knew the moment that pony came up to me she’d be like this.” Grunted Chief Thunderhooves.
“The Great and Powerful Trixie is not amused!”
“Goo-goo, ga-ga.” Pound Cake made aware.
“Ga-ga, goo-goo.” Pumpkin Cake agreed.
“SQUAK!” The cockatrice began to remove its sunglasses using its scaly tail.
“GO TEAM SPIKE!” Snips and Snails jumped as a pair.
“GO TEAM RAINBOW DASH!” Scootaloo and Pipsqueak retorted back.
“Everypony, please settle down!” Applebloom attempted to avoid the breaking out of an angry mob.
“Okay, okay. I’ll tell you now. Just know that I’m so happy everypony was able to get involved in this betting pool. I’m so excited by the fact that I could be the bookkeeper! Because that means I’m able to meet and talk to anypony willing to take part! And that seems to be almost everypony I’ve met! Which is a good thing because I did not want anypony to miss out on the fun, and then there’s the point that not everypony really knows the two players of this game of love. But that’s okay. Because I went ahead and told them a few things about each player, and the better was able to make a decision based on that. Isn’t that a good thing? I think it’s just great! Now we’re all here, and you’re all ordering cakes and sweets and treats and – “
“PINKIE PIE!” Everypony in the room roared savagely.
“Spike and Rainbow Dash are going out on a date in thirty minutes!” Pinkie Pie squealed animatedly, bouncing up and down in pure elation.
The room registered the new information for only a second before blowing up into gasps, cries, grunts, groans, shouts and an endless array of questioning. Pinkie Pie’s perky smile reached near impossible limits as it stretched into the shape of an upside down crescent moon. She scanned the throng of gatherers in delight, relishing in the sounds of the cacophony. This was a party, she reasoned. The biggest party Equestria will ever know was afoot.
The pink pony grabbed at her green visor and grinned. “Okay, everypony! You all probably have loads of questions! So ask away!”
How does one emphasize the bizarreness of this event? Spike and Rainbow Dash had a date, and everypony watched from the sidelines? Nope, that seems too artless, if you ask me. To sufficiently describe the oddity that is Spike and Rainbow Dash’s date would take an extravagant amount of time. Time I happen to have. The very crux of their date was curious, to say the least. How one could recount the convention itself as a date is actually pushing the envelope pretty far. But, alas, the label remained, and the gambling spectators were forced to prepare themselves for the instigation of the romantic clash.
Although betting contributors by the thousands found themselves huddled together, learning of each other’s identities, there were two partakers overseeing the entire challenge in anonymity. These unspecified members of the pool were none other than Equestria’s most famous rulers, the Royal Princesses. Only Pinkie Pie knew of their involvement, and the two celestial leaders desired to keep it that way. Princess Celestia and Princess Luna were in agreement their association with the game would only confuse their subjects. The sisters were therefore bound to unsuspecting masks among the rowdy, anticipating troop of risk-takers.
Ironically, the alicorn siblings, whom were known to be contending powers in the past, were once again head to head in their support for a dragon and a Pegasus. Princess Celestia had bet on Rainbow Dash to successfully earn Spike’s adoration, while Princess Luna wagered on Spike effectively resisting Rainbow Dash’s affectionate advances. The two found themselves in a fight not for bits but for bragging rights. Princess Luna was tired of having to face her sister’s constant correctness, so in a fit of rebellion she placed a bet against her. Princess Celestia was amused by her sister’s abject behavior. Sure, the elder sibling’s predictions were often reliable, but that didn’t mean the frequency would falter when skirmished.
Like the contrasting sentiments between Spike and Rainbow Dash, the desire to win between Princess Celestia and Princess Luna was overwhelmingly pressuring. The prospect of a triumph over the other was reminiscent of the war a thousand years before. Yes, they were that serious, everypony. And looking back upon it all, I still find myself awestruck.
Spike’s Rainbow Dash
Rainbow Dash had just encountered a refusal of aid from a very close friend, and after minutes of deliberation, the slightly hesitant Pegasus came upon the decision to reenter Ponyville’s Day Spa. The two lovely spa ponies of the establishment, Lotus and Aloe, were horrified to find their beautification of Rainbow Dash obliterated. Fortunately for the Pegasus, Lotus and Aloe were participants of the betting pool hosted by Pinkie Pie. And for whom were they rooting for? You got it. It was Rainbow Dash.
After being informed of the date to take place on the picnic grounds, Lotus and Aloe put forth total investment into their winning pony. The masters of physique remodeling had been given only half an hour to reapply a makeover session doubly extravagant than the last. With such a limited time frame, however, mud baths, steam rooms, seaweed wraps and massages were absent in their line of action. It was the greatest challenge ever to be presented to the two ponies of titivation. Sprucing up Rainbow Dash was a matter quite testing, yet the skillsets of Lotus and Aloe were not to be underestimated. Because by minute twenty-seven my little rag doll was transformed into my little duchess. As perplexing the entire spa routine was, the result ended up becoming one of their most successful projects.
Rainbow Dash exited the Day Spa as stunning as ever. Possibly more so than before, because a confidence of true determination for victory oozed from her pores. The glisten of her foorhooves was apparent as she flew to the proposed dating spot. Once again, the Pegasus planned to grasp the frolicking heart of one baby dragon in a tight grip. Her mane alone was sure to render Spike love-struck, she convinced herself. Setting up a date was her opposition’s paramount miscalculation, and she desired to take advantage of such an opportunity to strike.
“Spike’s so going down.” Rainbow Dash whispered, grinning maniacally. “Better watch yourself.”
At last, Rainbow Dash arrived to the promised gathering. The much visited location for picnicking activities was in fact located near Sweet Apple Acres. At Ponyville’s eastern border, healthy fields of green covered a wide spread of land. Much of the townspeople tended to indulge in outside goings-on at this particular location for one simple reason: the weather was always pleasurable. It was known throughout that east of town was bathed with the right mix of clouds and sun. Additionally, a cool breeze refreshed any that took step into the area. Hence, it was inevitably agreed upon that this was indeed the finest picnicking spot in all of Ponyville.
Twilight Sparkle had laid out a plaid blanket, owned by Applejack, atop the grassy lawn for Spike. And resting on the blanket was a multitude of treats and goodies, including the Apple Family’s scrumptious pies and fritters. Now Spike stood at the foot of the blanket with his very own prepared snacks and cookery. Plates, cups, utensils, vegetable and hay sandwiches, fruit punch in a bowl and a conspicuously rainbow-colored box with a red bow were of the amenities brought by the dragon. Scanning the completed picnic presentation, Spike was satisfied with its decency.
Leering in response to Rainbow Dash’s arrival, the baby dragon was ready to enact his dastardly plan. The date was to begin the moment either one spoke, and Spike was sure it was he who would make the first move. It was now or never, Spike realized. The game was his to take control.
“Nice setup you got here.” Rainbow Dash said, bringing Spike out of his bubble.
Spike clicked his tongue at his lack of initiative. Why did Rainbow Dash have to go out and speak first? He was supposed to take preliminary action!
And then Spike took in the full view of the cyan Pegasus. Rainbow Dash’s whole demeanor appeared made-up. Her overall glow radiated elegance, unlike the result of her previous bout with lightning. Rainbow Dash no longer held the same butch, coarse essence regularly ostensible in her outer appearance. In Spike’s eyes, she was now a pony of style. Her chic frame had the dragon’s blood organ beating wildly. In all truth, he was now attracted to her. Rainbow Dash was gorgeous, he admitted. And as he attempted to calm down his growling loins, Spike looked away from the sporting beauty smiling coyly at his front.
“Oh, Rainbow Dash, you’re going to be a tough one, for sure.” Spike muttered inaudibly.
“What was that?” Rainbow Dash questioned, leaning in closer to Spike. “And what do you think of my newest look? Better than the last, right? I bet your heart’s already pumping like crazy right now!”
Spike’s eyes widened, looking back to Rainbow Dash. “There we go, Dash! That’s the mare I wanted to see!”
Thanks to Rainbow Dash opening her mouth, Spike was able to be brought back to the light. He was soon reminded of his friend’s true nature. She was a tomboyish athlete that didn’t really care to maintain herself at all, Spike recognized. Rainbow Dash did not have the inner feminine qualities he preferred in a lady. He favored politeness and grace. He fell in love with a pony that exhibited concern in being mannerly. Rainbow Dash was not sophisticated. She was not actually a mare. She was not a loved one. Yes, he was enticed by her made-up state, but that was only a piece of Spike’s heart she could take.
For Rainbow Dash was not Rarity.
“Huh? What are you talking about now?” Rainbow Dash said, plopping herself onto the picnic blanket. “So are you in love with me or what?”
Spike laughed, clutching at his chest. “Dash, you have so much to learn about love. You really think you’ve got me under your hoof with just a simple makeover? No way would that fool me into falling for you.”
Rainbow Dash’s face scrunched up in confusion. “What do you mean? I’m looking pretty hot right now, aren’t I?”
“Okay, you look pretty.” Spike rolled his eyes as he took a seat beside Rainbow Dash. “But that doesn’t mean I’m suddenly in love. I like ponies that behave like ladies. And you definitely don’t behave like a lady.”
Rainbow Dash put her hooves up to Spike’s face. “Look at my hooves, though. They’re all prettied up and whatnot. Aren’t you head over heels for these hooves?”
Spike pushed aside Rainbow Dash’s hooves, chuckling derisively. “You don’t get it, do you? You gotta walk the walk and talk the talk, Dash. You know, an attitude adjustment. But that’s impossible for you. So I wouldn’t count on it ever happening.”
“That’s so lame!” Rainbow Dash whined, crossing her hooves. “How am I going to do something like that?”
“So does that mean you’re forfeiting the challenge?” Spike perked up, hopeful.
“Not in a million years, Spike! You’re falling for me one way or another!” Rainbow Dash retorted, uncrossing her hooves. “I’m not just going to give up like that. You so know be better.”
“Of course I do, Dash.” Spike sighed, a bit disappointed. “That’s why I set up this date.”
“Ha! You think this is going to make me stop vying for your heart? Because you got another thing coming. The date’s just going to make you fall for me even more.” Rainbow Dash said assertively, leaning in even closer to Spike’s snout. “So you want a frilly mare, huh? Fine. I can do that.”
“Yeah, sure, Dash. You do that.” Spike snickered sarcastically. “How about you start now then?”
“I will!” Rainbow Dash sat up straight and stretched her hooves. “Are you ready for it?”
“Ready as I’ll ever be.” Spike lied on his side, his head resting on his open palm.
Rainbow Dash continued stretching, stalling the inevitable to ponder on her next move. The makeover was not as a fruitful as she wished for it to be, but that fact wasn’t going to cease any more attacks from her side of the battle. Her pride as a mare was on the line, and there was no way she was going to allow a smug baby dragon declare it void. He wanted a lady? Oh, she’ll give him a lady! Finally, the Pegasus cracked her neck and produced a kittenish stare.
“Oh, Spikey-Wikey, you’re so…” Rainbow Dash awkwardly inched closer to Spike, clearing her throat. “Uh, charming…”
Spike was suddenly dumbfounded by Rainbow Dash’s efforts to flirt. Was she seriously trying to seduce him?
“Look at all this food you brought for our date. Did you make them yourself?” Rainbow Dash forced out gawkily, motioning to the spread of treats. “You’re so…uh, manly.”
Spike’s brain almost melted as he watched Rainbow Dash inelegantly scramble for a nearby hay sandwich. With absolutely no sense of poise, the Pegasus began scarfing the sandwich down, just as she always ate a delicious-looking meal. Spike’s gut was ready burst. Rainbow Dash was just plainly embarrassing herself. How far was she truly willing to go for victory? Spike planned to find out; as he was sure her resolve would wane quite easily if fought with the right exchanges.
“I sure did, honey.” Spike playfully imitated Rainbow Dash, batting his eyelashes flirtatiously. “Would you like some fruit punch for that hay sandwich? Little Dashie seems parched.”
Rainbow Dash choked at Spike’s mimicry. What was he doing? Making fun of her? Oh, he’s so going to get it now. As long as the competitive fires deep inside raged with might, she was not going to back down.
“Why, thank you, sweetums.” Rainbow Dash answered more confidently, swimming a hoof through her mane. “I’d love whatever you made, um, sweetums.”
Rainbow Dash couldn’t think of another pet name for Spike. For some reason the word ‘sweetums’ kept coming to her mind. Why did she even say ‘sweetums’? She’s never used that word in her whole life. In what cerebral passage did that little slice of monstrosity wriggle its way from?
Spike used the silver ladle in the punch bowl to scoop a cup of fruit punch.
Handing it to Rainbow Dash, Spike cooed. “Here you go, sweetums.”
Spike chortled, spilling a bit of the beverage on Rainbow Dash’s extended hoof. Calling Rainbow Dash ‘sweetums’ was definitely a shovel to the face for her, he could tell. Because the moment he repeated the word the Pegasus gaped in shock. He was getting to her! Rainbow Dash was eventually going to get sick of this game and give in. It was only a matter of time until she comprehended the futility of her labors.
“Hey, you spilled some punch on me, dude!” Rainbow Dash let slip, breaking her new alter-ego.
“I’m sorry, Dashie. Did I dirty you? Well, we just can’t have that, now can we?” Spike picked up a handkerchief from the corner of the blanket, encroaching forward. “Here, let me take care of that.”
This was it. Spike reached for Rainbow Dash’s soiled hoof, clenching the handkerchief he held in eagerness. The Pegasus was notorious for despising anypony touching her hooves. Only she touched her hooves, she had made clear at numerous instances. Spike wrapping and rubbing a handkerchief on one of those precious blue appendages was out of the question. Watch Rainbow Dash leap back in fear, dropping her level in this game to an extreme low, the dragon predicted.
“S-sure…” Rainbow Dash swallowed loudly, her outstretched hoof trembling. “Go ahead, my… baby dragon.”
Wait. Was Rainbow Dash really allowing Spike to place a finger on her hooves? Who was this mare?
“O-okay…” Spike cautiously rested the handkerchief on Rainbow Dash’s hoof.
An ominous atmosphere enveloped the two at that moment. Spike timidly rubbed the pony’s hoof while Rainbow Dash turned away ashamedly. Believe me, for both of them the atmosphere screamed awkward. The scene was a farce, I confess. It was just a complete charade of romantic venture. A façade exposed in the limelight to everypony viewing. Oh, and by the way, everypony was watching from behind the trees.
“They look so awkward together.” Sweetie Belle made note, turning to Scootaloo. “I don’t think Rainbow Dash is going to win at all.”
“Rainbow Dash’s going to win this. She’s the best pony in Equestria!” Scootaloo whispered back. “She can do anything!”
“Ah don’t know, Scootaloo.” Applebloom chimed in, shaking her head. “They look kinda funny-lookin’ to me.”
“Quiet down! The Great and Powerful Trixie is trying to listen to their conversation!” The caped unicorn hushed the Cutie Mark Crusaders sternly.
While Spike and Rainbow Dash continued to clumsily partake in cumbersome deeds, all of the participants of Pinkie Pie’s betting pool hid behind the trees surrounding the picnic site. And I mean everypony. To name a few not mentioned previously: Berry Punch, Time Turner, Minuette, Thunder Lane and Spitfire were among the countless individuals concealed behind the trunks and within the branches of the trees. They all had a full show of the date, and it was astonishing that neither Spike nor Rainbow Dash had yet taken notice.
“This is just plain wrong.” Applejack shuddered from behind another tree, turning to Twilight Sparkle.
“Come on, Spike. You can do it.” Twilight Sparkle begged, tapping her hoof to the grass impatiently. “You have to win this.”
“I think they’re, um…” Applejack and Twilight’s tree mumbled shyly. “…cute together, actually.”
Twilight Sparkle and Applejack simultaneously bounced back from their respective…tree? The tree spoke, that was true. And the voice emitted was painfully familiar. An introverted input from the confines of wood and leaves was mysteriously created.
“Fluttershy?” Twilight Sparkle tested in disbelief. “Is that you?”
“Fascinating.” Time Turner simpered in amazement. “I am quite tempted to use the TARDIS to witness the result of this game. But admittedly the excitement with everypony involved is just too juicy to skip. Knowing of the winner would only spoil the fun!”
“If this continues, I’m gonna barf up my lunch.” Iron Will groaned.
“You got that right.” Chief Thunderhooves agreed with a nod.
“How dare that dragon spill the punch!” Berry Punch complained, peeking through the branches of a large tree. “Nopony should treat punch so carelessly.”
“I still think she’s a lesbian.” Bon Bon stated, sneering audibly for everypony to hear. “Right, Lyra?”
“Definitely. This is a just a ploy to prove us wrong, anyway.” Lyra Heartstrings replied, sighing. “Good thing we bet on Spike.”
“Rainbow Dash is straight. I think letting Spike touch her hooves is proof enough.” Thunder Lane called out from a tree next to Lyra and Bon Bon’s.
“Wow. I’d never let anypony touch my hooves like that.” Spitfire said, mesmerized by Rainbow Dash’s combat strategy.
“Spike’s really going at it, huh?” Snips asked his best friend Snails. “He’s gonna win, right, Snails?”
“Dah, yeah, he’s a tough guy.”
“I’m lovin’ it!” Pinkie Pie, wearing her green visor, giggled uncontrollably.
“GO RAINBOW DASH!” Derpy Hooves shouted, flying out from behind a tree and smacking her head into another.
At that, Spike and Rainbow Dash were brought of their graceless funk. Having been interrupted by Derpy Hooves’s gaudy holler, the dragon and Pegasus experienced salvation while at the same time pure, undignified astonishment. Did that voice come from the trees? The two observed as silhouettes of ponies and other beings scurried about in panic. There were others watching, they concluded frightfully. And there were a lot of them.
The two flushed in sheer humiliation. How did they not notice their audience beforehand? Were they really that invested in their own roles of the game that they couldn’t notice hundreds of ponies peeping from a few meters away? The ridiculousness was now reaching new limits, it seemed to Spike and Rainbow Dash. Were they going to constantly be spied on from this day forth? Couldn’t that be classified as stalking?
Yes. Yes, it could.
“I think everypony’s watching us.” Spike made aware, quickly releasing Rainbow Dash’s hoof. “What do we do now?”
Rainbow’s Dash’s eyes lit up. “What? Because somepony’s watching you’re going to quit? Why don’t you just admit you love me, and we can move on from this?”
“Not a chance, Dash.” Spike tittered, pointing to the surrounding trees. “They’re harmless. We still have a date to finish here.”
“You know they’re all here to witness my victory, right?” Rainbow Dash teased, blowing a kiss to Spike. “Now that I think about it, it’s pretty obvious.”
“We’ll see.” Spike handed the cup of punch to Rainbow Dash. “Here’s your punch, cutie.”
“Thank you ever so much, sugar-buns.” Rainbow Dash countered swiftly. “Would you like some pie?”
“Sure, sweetie pie.” Spike snickered at the pun, noticing Rainbow Dash’s eye twitch in disgust. “It’s apple pie, by the way.”
“My…favorite.” Rainbow Dash persisted, scooping out a large piece of pie.
Rainbow Dash came upon a sudden idea. She was positive it was to be the flick of the hoof initiating the domino effect. The result amounting to Spike’s deep-seated adulation, of course. He couldn’t resist feeling thankful after the sacrifice she was to contribute, she assumed. It was time to take the next swing.
“I have an idea.” Rainbow Dash played with her mane flirtatiously. “How about I…feed you?”
Wrong move, Dash, Spike grinned coyly to himself. She’s just collapsed into her own trap.
Spike straightaway jumped onto his back, tucking his arms behind his head. “Sure! Go ahead, baby! Papa’s waitin’!”
Spike knew he was pushing it. He was now hammering at Rainbow Dash’s patience, and he figured the tomboy was ready to blow at any second. The baby dragon pricked his ears as he waited for the pegasus’s eventual resistance. If Rainbow Dash were to feed him like a servant to its master, that would be quite an accomplishment even for her. Spike opened his mouth widely, adding that final slap to the face. His demonstration of dominance was not going to sit too well for Rainbow Dash. Her buttons were just being rammed full force at this point.
“Just like that? You’re going to let me feed you?” Rainbow Dash fumed, glaring at Spike mercilessly.
“Of course! An opportunity to be fed by Rainbow Dash herself! Yeah, I’m going to enjoy this.” Spike responded with a scathing snort. “And where did lady Dashie go off to? I like her better. Bring her back, will you?”
Rainbow Dash finally had it. Enough was enough. There’s only so much a mare could take. The circumstances brought about by the aggressive, chauvinistic dragon were not remotely desirable in the slightest. No mare let alone Rainbow Dash could find his behavior any less repulsive. So Spike asked for a fight, huh? Well, he’s getting a fight!
“Oh, is my little baby hungry?” Rainbow Dash lifted the piece of pie over her head. “I guess I have no choice but to feed!”
Rainbow Dash then stuffed the entire slice of pie down Spike’s throat, leaving him choking and coughing madly. The dragon couldn’t believe she had just done something so childish. So immature! She wanted to play? He’ll play!
Wiping his mouth with an arm, Spike laughed. “Big mistake, Dash!”
Spike immediately grabbed the remainder of the apple pie and chucked it straight at Rainbow Dash’s face. Her quick reflexes allowed her to dodge and catch it midair. Rainbow Dash smiled back at Spike, a glint radiant in her eyes.
“Is this happening, Spike?” Rainbow Dash asked, aiming straight for Spike’s tiny body.
“It’s happening.” Spike jumped at a nearby vegetable sandwich, ready to throw.
After having been caught red-hoofed, the spectators had scampered about the forest of trees in alarm. They had not expected for a certain ditzy mailpony to outright blow their cover. A few of the ponies half-expected Rainbow Dash to rampage towards them in anger the moment she discovered their presence. Yet she didn’t, and Spike didn’t follow suit either. After a few minutes of chaotic scuttling, the gambling participants finally calmed down enough to witness another slice of discordance taking place at the picnic site. What they observed was befuddling. The crowd of stalkers reeled back in confusion as they beheld the very essence of a battle. A physical match of agility and accuracy; a game of sharpness and reflex. Apple pies flew across the plaid blanket in volleys. Sandwiches were lobbed in precise arcs as if sent to hit a target. An adult Pegasus and a baby dragon were indulging in the most juvenile of bouts. They were in the middle of a food fight.
“What in tarnation?” Applejack cried out to the infighting friends. “I worked dang hard on those pies, you know that?”
“Now this is getting interesting!” Iron Will laughed pompously. “Show him who’s boss, you little pony!”
“Spike, watch out!” Sweetie Belle directed, her eyes widening. “Yes! Dodged it!”
“Pelt him right in the face, Dash!” Gilda the griffon shouted with a pointed talon. “Yeah, right where it hurts!”
“This is getting out of a hoof now.” Twilight Sparkle worried, shaking her head. “But maybe this will make them finally comprehend the nonsense of it all.”
“Fools.” Octavia inserted aloud. “Only animals would resort to such frivolous undertakings.”
“Gotta admit, though.” Vinyl Scratch responded, amused. “It’s pretty funny to watch.”
Octavia eyed Vinyl Scratch carefully. “There is some entertainment value in it, I’ll give you that.”
“Rainbow Dash’s mane is gettin’ all messy again!” Applebloom stared at the cyan pegasus’s mane becoming more frazzled at every passing second. “This coulda been Spike’s plan all along!”
“You mean, like, he wanted her to look like she used to?” Scootaloo pieced together Applebloom’s words. “Oh, that sly little dragon!”
“Nah, it wasn’t on purpose.” Spitfire butted into the fillies’ conversation. “This was bound to happen sooner or later.”
“Why do they have to throw away those delicious pies like that?” Soarin’ drooled in a daze. “It’s so heartbreaking.”
“There, there, Soarin’.” Spitfire patted Soarin’s head in consolation. “How about we get some pie after this, okay?”
“The Great and Powerful Trixie finds this humorous!” Trixie announced noisily.
“Go, go, go!” Pinkie Pie screamed at the top of her lungs. “I want to join in now!”
“NO!” The entire throng of onlookers yelled, stopping Pinkie Pie from diving into the fray.
Four minutes passed until Rainbow Dash and Spike ran out of ammunition to supply the rounds for combat. Surges of adrenaline pumping through their veins, the two did not halt their methods of attack. Both grabbed at crumbles of snack and dessert from the grass and continued to toss heatedly at each other. Food flying and scattering all around them, the two finally hit their mark simultaneously. Spike fell over as wasted hay sandwich smacked him square in the snout. Rainbow Dash tumbled after being showered with the syrupy contents of apple pie.
The bystanders in the trees gasped in unison. Rainbow Dash and Spike were now on the ground, panting heavily. They had kept missing and evading each heave of food tossed their way, but after having triumphed with a bulls-eye assault there was only relief washing over the two. Rainbow Dash wasn’t quite finished, however, so she jumped to her hooves and snagged the undisturbed punch bowl. Spike, still recuperating from the exhausting scuffle, gulped in horror as the leering pony threatened to dump the beverage over his body.
“Okay, okay! I give!” Spike bounced to a standstill, attempting to sojourn Rainbow Dash. “You win! You win!”
Rainbow Dash set down the punch bowl, chortling. “Ha! I win? So you’re forfeiting the game?”
“I meant the food fight, you crazy pony!” Spike chuckled, finding Rainbow Dash’s laugh contagious. “Geez, that was intense.”
“He, he. It sure was! That was awesome!” Rainbow Dash sat on her rump in a fit of laughter. “I haven’t done that in a long time, you know?”
“It was fun, wasn’t it?” Spike slapped his knee, delving into his own fit. “Dash, you seriously know how to throw some food.”
“I know! I’m great!” Rainbow Dash agreed, nodding jubilantly. “But what about you? You got quite the arm there.”
“Heh. Thanks, Dash.” Spike took a seat in front of Rainbow Dash.
“For a baby, of course.” Rainbow Dash added teasingly.
“Hey! You only won because of your stamina. I couldn’t help that.” Spike argued, grinning.
“Excuses, excuses, buddy.” Rainbow Dash wagged her hoof in front of Spike’s face. “Bottom line is, I won.”
“Yeah, yeah. You won.” Spike conceded lightly.
At that moment, Spike and Rainbow Dash entered into a state of serene merriment. Paying no mind to their staggered audience, the Pegasus and dragon produced a symphony of cackles and giggles. Interestingly, their divided followers were unable to understand the course of events having taken place. What just happened? One moment the players were embittered enemies, passionately rallying globs of food, and the next they were pandering each other with humored hoots.
Well, the answer to their endless questioning really came down to one simple truth: Spike and Rainbow Dash were friends.
Because no matter what kind of argument the two were to get into, the outcome was always reconciliation. A playful commotion such as a spontaneous food fight could not ever break the companions apart. In reality, it only brought the two closer together. Strengths and weaknesses have often been apparent in contests between two opposing forces, but at this particular instance they seemed superficial. And only true friends could appreciate that fact.
“You know, Spike, it’s times like these that I’m glad you’re here.” Rainbow Dash said, breaking the incoherent jollity.
“Really?” Spike replied, calming down from his merrymaking. “I feel the same way for you, Dash.”
“Well, I knew that. Nopony can resist me.” Rainbow Dash responded snobbishly, putting a hoof to her untidy mane. “Hey! My mane’s all messy again!”
“That’s what you get.” Spike shrugged. “It wasn’t really working for me, anyway. It just isn’t you, Dash.”
“I guess so.” Rainbow Dash huffed, crossing her hooves over her chest. “I’m not getting another makeover. I’m over that.”
“Good.” Spike patted Rainbow Dash’s shoulder, smiling. “You’re already a pretty pony. No need to go overboard.”
The Pegasus froze. What did he just say?
Cautiously, Rainbow Dash spoke. “Did you just call me pretty?”
Spike took his palm back, stunned. “Uh, d-did I? Yeah, I…guess I did, huh?”
Rainbow Dash stared at Spike in wonder. He did just call her pretty. What was that for? Was her plan to woo Spike over actually taking effect? Was it somehow functioning efficiently? Rainbow Dash was too suspicious of the dragon’s words to be sure. She knew that it could all be some part of a larger plot to resist. That must have been the case, Rainbow Dash pondered. Spike was only attracted to polished mares.
Before Rainbow Dash could retort sardonically, a piece of remembrance came upon the pegasus. A memory of an adventure recalled occurrences latent in the pony’s mind. Recollections flashed as she found herself remembering a special incident in her life. It involved Spike and her mare friends Twilight Sparkle and Rarity. It was a moment that was equally frightening as it was exciting.
A few months before, Rainbow Dash, Twilight Sparkle and Rarity had tracked their dear friend Spike to a forested area at the foot of a gigantic volcano. Defenseless while protecting the egg of a phoenix, Spike had been face to face with a group of menacing dragons ready tear him apart. The three mares present had then exposed themselves before the draconic creatures in order to provide support for their comrade. In the end, Spike had returned to Ponyville, accepting his home as one with ponies. And as stress had been alleviated from the minds of the three loyal mares, a conspicuous expression of absolute delight remained on the pegasus’s face even days after. Rainbow Dash had been so happy that her pal was back. He was such a fun person to hang out with, after all.
“Remember that quest you went on during the dragon migration?” Rainbow Dash asked blankly.
“Huh?” Spike was a bit taken back by the new topic of discussion. “Yeah, I remember. Boy, that was a weird time in my life.”
“It sure was.” Rainbow Dash smiled gently. “In all seriousness, though. Even with this challenge and all, I am really happy you came back with us, Spike.”
“Come on, Dash. We’re over that.” Spike said, rolling his eyes.
“When you left, I just felt so bad I made you feel like a kid.” Rainbow Dash continued, keeping Spike’s attention.
“But, truthfully, you might be more mature than me.” Rainbow Dash whispered, admitting it to both herself and Spike. She did not want the eavesdropping lurkers listening to her say that last line, though.
Spike went silent. What was Rainbow Dash talking about now? Was she lying to him or something? The dragon attempted to grasp the underlying message within the pegasus’s words. But after a quick deliberation Spike could only sense truth. He realized the sincerity of her confrontation, and at that his heart skipped a beat. It was a funny thing, really. Never did he think he could hear Rainbow Dash say something so nice. The cheesiness factor was definitely there. How Rainbow Dash could bear it was beyond the baby dragon.
“Thanks, Rainbow Dash.” Spike whispered back with a nod. “That means a lot to me.”
“What are they saying? I can’t hear.” Mrs. Cake asked her husband from behind a tree.
“I can’t hear them either, honey.” Mr. Cake answered, turning his head to his wife. “But they sure look comfortable.”
Mr. Cake was definitely correct on that aspect. Because Spike and Rainbow Dash tranquilly sat and presented soft smiles to each other atop the picnic sheet. According to Rainbow Dash, she could have labeled such an instance as ‘sappy’. But not now. Because ‘sappy’ was the last sentiment Rainbow Dash used to describe the situation. To the mare inside, and to Spike respectively, looking upon a friend in fondness just felt right.
Everything seemed to have come down to a peaceful coolness. A new air enveloped Spike and Rainbow Dash as they gazed humbly at each other’s eyes. Was it possible? Was it actually happening? Were they having…a moment? Even I cannot believe such a wild feat in Equestrian history.
Well, strap on your seatbelts, everypony. Because whether it was a ‘moment’ or not it did not last long. Without any preregistered alert or notification, a lump of pie and sandwich was suddenly flung straight for Rainbow Dash’s still visage. Unexpected? Yes. Shocking? No doubt. Understood? No way. Before the bits of appetizers could splatter onto the pegasus’s head, though, a bright yellow aura instantly cloaked the snacks, halting them in place midair. Before anypony could react, a dark blue aura shrouded the yellowed food, and shot it towards Spike’s face.
Spike, Rainbow Dash and the rest of the tree-huggers – save one – could not comprehend what had just occurred. And before the blue-yellow encased food could land onto the paralyzed dragon, a purple aura veiled itself around the scraps of grub. The purple-over-blue-over-yellow food hovered back and forth between Spike and Rainbow Dash, seemingly struggling to whop any particular object.
“What’s going?” Rainbow Dash finally sputtered, flying backwards.
“I don’t know!” Spike crawled away from the vibrating crusts and vegetables.
Abruptly, the foodstuff exploded, sending tiny portions sprinkling onto the picnic blanket.
“It’s magic!” Twilight Sparkle galloped toward Spike and Rainbow Dash. “Somepony’s conjuring magic to interrupt your date!”
“Hey, what is this?” Bon Bon growled, pointing a hoof at the purple unicorn. “Twilight Sparkle’s cheating!”
“What?” Twilight Sparkle whipped back, irritated. “I was not the-“
“She used her magic to restart the food fight!” Diamond Tiara cut off Twilight Sparkle, alerting the rest of the flabbergasted crowd.
“No, I didn’t! I just protected them from getting hit-“ Twilight Sparkle tried to assure.
“Hey, that’s not fair! We’re supposed to let them do their thing!” Iron Will roared, stepping out of the trees.
“The Great and Powerful Trixie knew she would rely on cheap tricks to get her way!” The blue unicorn proclaimed.
“Hold your horses, everypony!” Applejack ran up and shielded Twilight Sparkle. “We should listen to what she’s talkin’ bout!”
There was not a chance to explain, however, because the punch bowl was now encircled by a dark blue magic that headed straight for Rainbow Dash’s torso. Yet the liquids from the bowl did not drench the mare, for a dark-coated Pegasus shot out to obstruct her vulnerability. Having become soaked in her stead, the silver-blue-maned Pegasus crashed to the ground, his tongue lazily hanging from his open mouth.
“Thunderlane?” Rainbow Dash leapt in amazement at Thunderlane’s impulsiveness.
“R-Rainbow…Dash? Is…that you?” Thunderlane choked.
“Dude, it was just punch.” Rainbow Dash said.
“Y-you must…win. I’m in too…deep.” Thunderlane coughed out, feigning a loss of consciousness.
Rainbow Dash, overcome by the melodramatic performance, saluted the ‘unconscious’ Thunderlane lying at her hooves.
“You did well, soldier.” Rainbow Dash brought down her hoof. “You did well.”
Rainbow Dash spotted the dropped punch bowl and held it up. “Who’s doing this? Come out, you sneak!”
And again without warning, a large raincloud materialized above Spike and Rainbow Dash. But before it could rain down upon the two, a pink blaze of magic encompassed the dragon and Pegasus. Promptly appearing meters away from the marauding rain, they were unable to figure out anything anymore. Everything was just too quick for their minds to make sense of it.
Twilight Sparkle was able to, though. She had just successfully teleported her friends, from being sodden by the raincloud, using her powerful magic. What did she not know – and she planned to find out – was the identity of the perpetrator using such resources to upset the date. For all she knew there could have been multiple culprits involved. Who could be doing such criminal things?
“Somepony else is cheating like Twilight Sparkle!” Lyra Heartstrings declared, riling up the horde of gamblers.
“If we’re going to be able to cheat, then I might as well do this myself!” Iron Will bellowed, flexing his massive muscles.
“GET THEM!” Pinkie Pie shouted, hurtling ahead of the pack.
“SQUAK” The cockatrice screeched in agreement.
“YEAH!” Snowflake howled.
At that, the majority of the gang rushed towards Spike and Rainbow Dash, stampeding across the grassy field. It was reminiscent of the buffalo charging en route to Dodge Junction. And like that famous Appleloosa battle, this one wasn’t going to be pretty.
“How does this solve anything?” Spike shrieked in a panic.
“I told you I had a funny feelin’ about this!” Applejack remarked, taking out a role of thin rope from under her Stetson hat. “You two need to get outa here! Now!”
“We’ll hold them off!” Twilight Sparkle magically held down a few pegasi and griffons attempting to fly.
“Spike, get on my back!” Rainbow Dash readied herself for the baby dragon’s extra weight. “We’re getting out of here!”
“No need to tell me twice!” Spike snatched the rainbow-colored box he brought for the date.
“What’s in the box?” Rainbow Dash had ignored its contents until now.
“I’ll show you later!” Spike hopped onto the pegasus’s back. “Let’s go!”
Rainbow Dash, becoming adjusted to the foreign load, flapped her wings violently as she climbed to the clouds. Spike was heavier than she thought.
“They’re getting away!” Trixie’s horn glowed a bright blue hue.
“Oh, no, you don’t!” Twilight Sparkle responded, teleporting Trixie into the trees.
“Hi-ho, Rainbow! Away!” Spike hollered, waving the box over his head.
“You know I could just drop you if I wanted to, right?” Rainbow Dash grunted as she gained momentum.
Alerted, Spike took a stronger grasp of the pegasus. “Hey, I couldn’t hold it in.”
“You better hold on now!”
Rainbow Dash then bulleted into the sky, almost toppling Spike loose. The baby dragon held on like his life depended on it. Actually, his life did depend on it. The odd pair of purple and blue ascended into the heavens at monstrous speeds. Too fast for any pegasi or griffons trying to catch them, in any case.
“They’re heading for the mountains! We know the mountains!” One of the Diamond Dogs notified the frustrated mass of betters. “Follow us!”
“STOP IT, ALL OF YOU!”
Astonishingly, the entire field of ponies, griffons and creatures was instantly rendered motionless. Who said that just now? The voice was so authoritative, so tremendously overpowering and piercing, so audacious, so dedicated that nary a being could defy its will. The voice shot out like an arrow to the heart, filled with so much determination that every note and octave resounded could be described as a masterpiece in oratory.
Rarity emerged amid the speechless, eyes ablaze. “We must be civilized! What are we, beasts?”
“Oh, no, not this pony again.” A Diamond Dog whined, covering his ears.
“What were you trying to accomplish, anyway? How does catching those two benefit any of you?” Rarity made note, the volume of her projection rising steadily.
The once raging mob remained immobile as they considered their actions. Wait. What were they trying to do in the first place? Capture Rainbow Dash and Spike? What were they going do even if they did succeed in bounding them? How did it even come to this? Nopony could come up with a logical answer to Rarity’s concerns. A jumbled moment filled with disorder had overtaken their mental states for a few minutes, it seemed.
“Thanks, Rarity.” Twilight Sparkle breathed, the magic from her horn fading.
“Uh, can you let me go now?” Chief Thunderhooves said, having been lassoed by Applejack.
“Pinkie Pie, take my bet.” Rarity addressed the pink pony.
Pinkie Pie bounced out from behind four Earth ponies. “What’s your game, Rarity?”
I bet all the finest stones in my shop…” Rarity stated without hesitance. “On Spike.”
“All the stones in your shop...” Pinkie Pie snatched out a notepad and scribbled. “The value is pretty high for this bet, Rarity. But with the amount of bets placed, I have more than enough to fund your takings if Spike does win.”
“Good.” Rarity turned to the crowd and pronounced theatrically. “Because Spikey-Wikey will win!”
Meanwhile, a cowering Fluttershy peeked out from under her tree camouflage.
“Is it over?”
No, Fluttershy, it was just beginning.
How does one expose the personal sentiments reserved by the subjects of this account? The many characters retained mixed emotions throughout the course of the game, and in the end confrontations broke out? No, that’s just too modest of a retelling. Because certain desires had been brought to light. In the time it took to realize these passions, the red string of fate had already been plucked by the cosmic overseers of the universe. Thus, the simple acceptance of these longings initiated behaviors influential to the result of the bet. And when everything finally came together in a clash, a spectacular piece of history was recorded.
Of course, I could just tell you all how this story ended. I could probably do so with a short anecdote. I’d feel satisfied, because as I now recall, describing the copious accounts of frustrations, antagonisms and quixotic ventures embedded in the core of this tale would have my mood swinging vigorously. And in all actuality I’d like to avoid such an emotional rollercoaster.
However, such an act of disrespect would just tarnish the beauty apparent in the plot. The truth is in the details, a wise individual once said. How could I reject the opportunity to narrate? The exploration of an entirely new world had just begun for a few personalities. The adventure of a lifetime was at their very doorstep, knocking and asking to come into their hearts and minds. To disregard an encounter with an omnipotent experience is just foolish, if you ask me. Though it seemed a baby dragon, a pegasus and a unicorn were not so brash to ignore the calling.
Spike’s Rainbow Dash
Spike and Rainbow Dash soared through the expanse of the bright blue sky. The dragon and the pegasus had just narrowly escaped the ravenous assaults of a rampaging mob. How it had come to that point, the two could not figure. To the relief of Spike and Rainbow Dash, neither a pony nor a griffon was hot on their tail any longer. Rainbow Dash must have been too fast for them, Spike concluded. There was no way they could catch the quickest being in all of Equestria.
As the pegasus’s cyan wings spread open to provide for majestic flight, Spike and Rainbow Dash glided flittingly to an unknown destination. Rainbow Dash did not particularly plan to arrive at any one setting. Partaking in a voyage of speed and wind was not on the pony’s agenda for her date with Spike, though it was not such a bad turn of events either. In fact, rocketing away from the source of chaos at the picnic grounds was absolutely exhilarating for the audacious pegasus.
Bringing her mind back to the moment of liftoff, Rainbow Dash was reminded of the numerous exploits of her favorite fictional heroine. She was just like Daring Do!, Rainbow Dash thought joyously. Shooting out into the sun at the very last second, leaving maniacal enemies in the dust was just awesome! Smiling widely to the sense of self-accomplishment, the mare began flapping her wings rapidly to gain more thrust. She was now excited, and all she desired was that precious wall of wind brushing against her face.
Interestingly enough, the young, energetic pegasus completely paid no mind to the frantic baby dragon hanging onto her mane for dear life. Bulleting forward with tremendous might, Rainbow Dash’s total concentration centered solely on what was ahead. Only Spike wished she could remember what was on top. Because as the rate of their ascension gradually reached near-improbable limits, Spike’s grip on the pegasus loosened in synchronicity. If she were to keep at her irrational impulsiveness Spike’s safety was no longer a viable dependency. He had never been so high in the sky before. But instead of being able to take in the scenic environs, Spike found himself crying in deep-seated fear for salvation.
“Dash!” Spike choked as a gust of air hit his throat. “Slow down!”
Unfortunately for the dragon, nothing but the sound of rushing winds resounded in the pegasus’s eardrums. She wasn’t able to hear a single syllable coming from Spike’s mouth, and as she finally entered a state of swiftness possible through her monstrous abilities, her displeased passenger contemplated dropping the rainbow-colored box he had been holding onto for their expense. Why was he still carrying the box, anyway? He needed to forget the contents and just focus on surviving by having both hands on the reigns. If he didn’t, then bidding farewell to the world was the only other option.
Right when Spike wisely decided to release his grip on the rainbow-colored box, Rainbow Dash suddenly broke into a hard halt. Although Rainbow Dash’s talents for ceasing motion after collecting so much momentum were top par, Spike’s skills for such a feat were seemingly not so great. The baby dragon’s chance to show the pegasus how to truly fly immediately presented itself. For he was forcefully pulled off of Rainbow Dash’s back like a rag doll, crashing into a cold surface of rock. Hugging the brightly decorated package to his chest, Spike tumbled onto a face of pebbles and grain. He prayed that he could come out alive and well, because if he did he was sure to wring that pegasus’s neck.
Rainbow Dash had arrived at the edge of a rock-strewn platform glued to the side of a towering mountain. The cliff appeared isolated and barren of any life forms, which confirmed the pegasus’s judgment that nopony would be able to discover any escapees taking refuge. She believed this little cliff in the middle of a large foothill could be the perfect hideout for the two runaways. As Rainbow Dash attempted to relish in her success at finding a sanctuary, she was shocked to see Spike rolling onto the precipice like tumbleweed through a deserted land.
And then it dawned on her. Spike was on her back the whole time, wasn’t he? In the heat of everything the athletic pegasus had forgotten his company. It was no wonder Rainbow Dash felt a bit heavier than usual. She had an entirely foreign load latched onto her rear. Spike could have spoken up, Rainbow Dash thought to herself. She could have decelerated more easily for him.
“Oops. Sorry about that, Spike.” Rainbow Dash descended onto the cliff, noticing Spike stop in the fetal position. “It was your fault for being careless, though.”
“One day, Rainbow Dash…” Spike muttered pathetically, picking his head up. “One day…”
“Come on, it was an accident.” Rainbow Dash waved off Spike’s simple declaration. “We were being chased, remember? You can’t blame me for flying so fast.”
“Yeah, yeah. Whatever.” Spike responded in irritation, brushing off the sandy remains stuck to his scales.
“What, are you mad?” Rainbow Dash giggled, motioning to her surroundings. “I brought us here, didn’t I? We’re safe for now. You could at least thank me.”
Spike scanned the new environment, slowly gathering what little there was of the remote cliff. A few rocks the size of his fist lied scattered atop the stony exterior. The only means of entrance to the cliff was by climb or flight, and he knew Rainbow Dash was correct in presuming it to be a secure area for camping out. Spike looked back to a grinning Rainbow Dash, who turned to take in the view of the lands below. Well, she did save them from the angry gang of gamblers, Spike reflected. It must have taken a lot of strength considering he was probably weighing her down.
Spike sighed, setting down the rainbow-colored box onto the graveled floor. “You’re right, Dash. Thanks for getting us out in time.”
Rainbow Dash twisted back to Spike. “See? That wasn’t so hard, right?”
“Harder than you think. Trust me.” Spike stepped cautiously towards the edge of the cliff. “But don’t you think staying here is bit unnecessary? It’s really high.”
Rainbow Dash patted Spike’s back with a bit of power, trying to make him feel more unsafe than he already felt. “What are you, scared?”
Rainbow Dash laughed as Spike scrambled back to the wall of the cliff’s boundaries, panting heavily in fright.
“Hey, I was just kidding! I wasn’t going to push you off!” Rainbow Dash floated, following Spike.
“Don’t do that! I was seriously about to fall off!” Spike retorted, clutching at his respiring chest.
“Don’t worry, kid. If you fall, I’ll just catch you.” Rainbow Dash dismissed Spike’s state of panic.
“Joking like that doesn’t help at all.” Spike said, calming down to address the real issue. “Anyway, what was up with everypony down there? They suddenly went crazy for some reason.”
“I know! They just freaked!” Rainbow Dash said animatedly. “It was kind of exciting, wasn’t it? Just escaping in the nick of time!”
“More like nerve-racking.” Spike replied blankly. “When do you think it’s safe to go back?”
“I don’t think it will ever be safe. We might have to face the fire when the time comes.” Rainbow Dash pondered, putting a hoof to her chin. “There’s a lot riding on this bet for everypony.”
“I can’t believe this ridiculous game has escalated so quickly.” Spike placed a palm to his forehead in disbelief. “What were they planning to do with us if we were caught?”
“Heh. They would have never caught me.” Rainbow Dash snorted confidently. “I’m just too fast.”
“We got lucky, Dash. What if a unicorn uses magic to stop you from flying the next time we run into some trouble? What do you do then?” Spike made note in concern.
Rainbow Dash’s face dropped as she pictured the hypothetical situation. “Uh, yeah, I guess I never thought of that.”
Rainbow Dash shook her head, standing up straight. “They still wouldn’t be able to catch me! I’d just keep going no matter what obstacles came my way!”
“We should end this whole thing once and for all, Dash.” Spike continued, peeling off the red bow tagged onto the rainbow-colored box. “That way we wouldn’t have to be in this situation ever again.”
Rainbow Dash noticed Spike prying open the rainbow-colored box that she had, once again, ignored. Her curiosity growing, the pegasus moved closer towards the baby dragon, stretching her head forward to take a peek inside the square container. She had been speculating what was inside the mysterious box. Its vivid décor made itself conspicuous at the picnic, and she knew the moment she saw it something interesting was inside.
“What’s inside the box?” Rainbow Dash asked, her inquisitiveness developing exponentially.
Spike smirked, reaching into the open box. “Oh, you want to know? I thought you weren’t interested.”
“I never said that. Stopping play around. What is it?” Rainbow Dash’s yearning for knowledge was overwhelming. “I want to know.”
“A little present for my date.” Spike stalled, amused by Rainbow Dash’s peeved expression. “Something special for a very special somepony.”
“Yeah, okay, so what is it?” Rainbow Dash’s interest was piqued to its peak.
“This little thing?” Spike chuckled darkly, a distinct twinkling in his emerald eyes. “Just the answer to our problems.”
Spike lifted his hand from inside the rainbow-colored box. In his claw was a silvery tin thermos, cylinder in shape and about ten inches in length. Its long, slender form rested comfortably in the dragon’s clasp. Light reflected softly from the surface of the canister, increasingly drawing in Rainbow Dash.
“What is that? A drink?” Rainbow Dash asked, slightly confused.
“Oh, not just any drink. It’s ‘the’ drink.” Spike responded, carefully twisting open the thermos. “Check it out, Dash.”
Spike tipped the thermos at an angle for Rainbow Dash to see the insides. The tin flask was filled with a golden brown liquid that seemed as interesting as a tree in a forest. To Rainbow Dash, the contents of the silvery container came off as a bit disappointing. She had been imagining a liquescent concoction of a blood red color, or maybe even that of a rainbow. Its opaqueness was boring. How this little beverage could be the solution to anything was beyond the pegasus.
“I don’t get it. What’s so special about that?” Rainbow Dash questioned the validity of Spike’s proclamations. “It looks like cider.”
“Exactly. It’s cider.” Spike produced a toothy grin, pausing for dramatic effect. “The Apple Family’s Famous Cider, in fact.”
“Huh?” Rainbow Dash froze, her brain functioning riotously to register Spike’s words. “But…Cider Season’s over already.”
“It’s been specially preserved using some magic.” Spike explained. “I had this idea to drink it for a celebratory event or something. Twilight ended up helping me out. It’s been in my drawer for months, nice and cold with all its goodness, as if freshly spouted from the trees themselves.”
“H-how do I know you’re not lying?” Rainbow Dash gulped, her mouth salivating. “How do I know it’s the real deal?”
“You don’t believe me? Why don’t you smell it then?” Spike said, placing the thermos under Rainbow Dash’s nose.
Rainbow Dash closed her eyes and sniffed the beverage. Even though she doubted Spike’s statement, she actually sought for it to be the truth. She wanted nothing more but for the drink to be the Apple Family’s coveted brew. And as she allowed the fragrance to enter her flared nostrils, the pegasus was exposed to a great familiarity. The scent of the thirst-quencher was the discrete aroma of apples. Memories flashed through her mind in prompt frequency, allowing her to enjoy the sensations and joys of autumn. Leaves falling, charred wood, ponies laughing, music playing and family brought Rainbow Dash into a singular space filled with relaxation and utter happiness. It was the cider everypony lined up for each year. To have just a drop of such a masterful luxury of taste and tang was a blessing to all.
Rainbow Dash inhaled deeply, basking in the treasures of the cider’s redolence. “It’s true. It’s the cider of my dreams.”
“And it’s all for you, Dash.” Spike pulled back the thermos to his chest, watching Rainbow Dash stick her tongue out in desperation.
“Gimme!” Rainbow Dash reached out for the apple cider.
“Whoa, whoa. Hold your horses.” Spike reflexively dodged Rainbow Dash’s extended hooves. “There’s a condition you must abide by if you want this.”
“What? But you said it was a present for your date!” Rainbow Dash encroached upon Spike, her breathing patterns becoming more erratic. “I’m your date, so gimme!”
Rainbow Dash pounced for Spike like a tiger on its prey. Spike, however, was able to evade the pegasus’s attack with at a scale’s breadth. Unfulfilled and exasperated, Rainbow Dash began agilely skipping around Spike, rendering the baby dragon a spinning mess. The apple cider was in her sight, and it was hers! Spike said so! In a second she’ll have that heavenly beverage sliding down her throat, bringing her into a state of ecstasy. She wanted it. She needed it. She couldn’t live without it. Hurry up and give it!
“You’re not getting a taste if you don’t listen!” Spike twisted the cap back onto the thermos. “If not, I might as well drink it for myself!”
Rainbow Dash stopped in place, glaring at Spike intently. “You wouldn’t dare.”
“Try me.” Spike wrapped both his claws firmly around the thermos.
Rainbow Dash clicked her tongue, frustrated. “Fine. What’s the condition?”
“Stop this. All of this. This game, bet or whatever you want to call it. Just call it quits and you can have this precious apple cider.” Spike demanded, maintaining a stern countenance.
“Ha! You think I’ll give up so easily?” Rainbow Dash smiled wryly. “It won’t work, Spike. So just hand over the goods and we can move on.”
“Don’t you understand? I’m trying to move on from this!” Spike countered, inching closer to Rainbow Dash for emphasis. “You’re my close friend, and you know who I have a crush on. You know…I like Rarity.”
“So this was your last resort, huh? Using the cider against me?”
“Dash! Listen to me for once! Can’t you see how stupid this whole thing has become? This isn’t a joke anymore!” Spike yelled, liquid welling up in his eyes.
At that, Rainbow Dash was rendered immobilized. She couldn’t believe it. Spike was…about to cry. She could see the baby dragon trying to fight off the tears, standing fixed and dominating. After such a sight, Rainbow Dash reflected on her own actions up until this instance. Why was Spike crying? Did she do something wrong? Was she already doing something hurtful? The cyan pegasus drew back to the events passed. What she recollected was a game between two companions. A simple competition that evoked strong emotions and engagements both exciting and oddly comedic. It was just the fun of the battle, right? But as Rainbow Dash stood before a sniffling dragon, she wondered whether it really was all that she cracked it up to be.
Spike did have a crush on somepony else, and she had decided it didn’t matter? She took it upon herself to neglect her friend’s romantic fantasies and become the object of his desires? Was doing so sensible? Was it sane? Although she constantly told herself that what she had done was fine – that it was to become the victor of an important bet – the pegasus kept arriving to the same conclusion. Spike was right: this game was childish and stupid. She hated to admit it, but he was dead-on. But did that mean she had to give up? She never gave up on anything!
“Spike…” Rainbow Dash said, attempting to place a hoof on Spike’s shoulder. “I didn’t mean to-“
“We can fix this. Just stop all this craziness.” Spike moved away from Rainbow Dash, wiping away his tears. “Please.”
Rainbow Dash bit her lower lip. Spike didn’t let her console him. He blatantly sidestepped away from Rainbow Dash’s hoof and wiped off his shame. The pegasus soon realized what the game was doing to her friend. She was marking a dent in his heart. She was placing a gap between their own relationship. Their friendship, an extraordinary slice of her life that conveyed cheers and entertainment. Was she really going to break it apart like this? How could she go on after that kind of catastrophe?
Rainbow Dash finally decided. It was probably the best course of action, anyway.
Rainbow Dash brought her head down in defeat, exhaling. “O-oka-“
No, no, no. Did you think it was over just like that? This is an epic, remember?
Coincidentally, the very millisecond Rainbow Dash was to surrender to Spike, a previously acquainted-with aura shrouded the cylindrical thermos. The magical aura was a bright yellow, and before Spike or Rainbow Dash could react, the thermos was weightily pulled to the edge of the cliff. And as it fell straight down over the brink, Spike the baby dragon, who had been tightly holding onto the canister, was flung as an added bonus. It took Rainbow Dash a few seconds to fully realize the severity of the situation. Spike was pulled over the cliff by somepony’s magic.
“SPIKE!” Rainbow Dash screamed, diving over the cliff.
Spike had released the thermos by the time Rainbow Dash had flown close enough to extend a helping hoof. But facing against the force of gravity was a difficult task. Spike’s tiny body gyrated uncontrollably as he plummeted down the side of the rocky precipice. His intestines churned, causing vomit to rise up his esophagus. If he were to continue spinning so wildly he was sure to barf up his breakfast. Now was one of those moments he truly wished for sprouted wings. If only he could fly like the rest of the dragons, he wondered.
Yet the fleeting image of a nearing Rainbow Dash gave the baby dragon some peace. She’s coming to save the day, Spike smiled humbly. His friend was coming to his aid.
Rainbow Dash pushed the limits of her acceleration, finally reaching a point in which she could grab the flailing baby dragon. And right when she was about to fly off with Spike in her hooves, the speeding pegasus noticed something enticing. A prize so brilliant and dazzling that she could not pass up. Spike was going to be safe, Rainbow Dash persuaded herself. He’ll be glad she decided to do this. This was the right thing to do, after all. It would be devastating to both Rainbow Dash and Spike if she were to let it go to waste.
Of course, Rainbow Dash was referring to the apple cider within the silvery thermos. She felt the cider was the victim, trapped inside the confines of a tin enclosure. She needed to save both Spike and the cider. He had been preserving it for months. Leaving it to plunge into the abyss below was horrifyingly defiant. She couldn’t have that on her conscience!
Rainbow Dash whizzed pass the dumbfounded baby dragon, setting her sights onto the yellow-cloaked cylinder. Nopony was going to mess with Rainbow Dash! Even with magic involved, she was to beat whoever was trying to steal her priceless cider! Her wings were the only armaments she required to make her statement.
“DASH!” Spike cried at the top of his lungs at a descending Rainbow Dash. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”
“I can do this.” Rainbow Dash grunted, aggressively pushing herself forward.
Spike had already reached his terminal velocity and could not fall any faster than he already had been. On the other hand, Rainbow Dash could see the thermos falling downward much more quickly than it could have been possible. It was purposefully being dragged by the will of magic, and it was heading straight for the foot of the mountain. Rainbow Dash held a rock concert in her mind as she drew from its motivation to continue the spirited rhythm of flapping her wings. The music playing came from the soul of the daring pegasus, and as her wings clawed against the wind resistance, Rainbow Dash could feel the air solidifying at the front of her hooves and snout.
“RAINBOW DASH!” Spike shrieked in horror. “DON’T DO IT!”
She wasn’t going to allow a wall of air slow her down. She sped up until the wall became a rubber-band, stretching along the surface of her frame. The rubber-band was just asking her to snap it. Mocking her! She must overcome the barrier! She must break the sound barrier! The thermos was only demonstrating the same hustle as she was! She needed to keep it up!
Rainbow Dash ignored the friction emanating from the heat against her forehooves and face. She gritted her teeth as her lips were blown back, latching onto her cheeks. Her wings were now on fire, threatening to be torn off by the sheer force of the barrier. The pegasus squinted, her tears blown out faster than her eyes could generate them. She could feel the barrier bending and stretching further along the base of her hooves. She needed to go faster! The thermos was so close! She could almost touch it!
Rainbow Dash laid her ears back, flattening her body like a lean board. She lowered her snout, placing it right between and behind her forehooves. She then tilted her entire body forward, angling it towards the airstream as if she were diving into the sea, causing for a deeper cut into wind resistance. The air became so hot that the Pegasus imagined her wings melting. She felt her eyes sinking into her sockets.
“RAINBOW DASH! STOP IT!”
Rainbow Dash punctually opened her mouth. After much practice, she’s established an easier route to absolute freedom. The force of fresh air was shoved inside the entrails of her lungs and bronchioles, circulating endlessly and bestowing upon her wing muscles an unlimited supply of oxygen. The pegasus then tucked in her stomach and placed her tail in between her rearhooves, streamlining herself expertly. The thermos was getting closer! She could grab it!
As the ground surface seemed to climb faster and faster, an electrical cackle of air encased itself over the pegasus. The barrier generated so much static it seared. Then came the drum solo! Faster! Then came the bass solo! Faster! Then came the electric piano solo! Faster! Then came the electric guitar solo! Faster!
Then came the vocals!
“YEAH, BABY! SONIC RAINBOOM!” Rainbow Dash hollered on cue, grabbing onto the thermos devoid a magical aura.
BOOM! The air had exploded behind the pegasus and was now yielding to her speed. Because Rainbow Dash was bulleting faster than the speed of sound, she couldn’t actually hear the ‘boom’ of her outstanding Sonic Rainboom. But Spike heard it, and most of Equestria did as well. And after bouncing off a trajectory meters away from the ground, the pegasus skillfully snagged onto the baby dragon midair and ascended elegantly into the heavens.
Spike watched as a magnificent polychromatic trail was produced and extended. It was gloriously exotic. Rainbows have been described as the most remarkable light shows in existence. Sunlight spreading out into its spectrum and diverted to the eye of the observer. A wide array of excitements and sentiments overwhelmed the baby dragon. He was angry at Rainbow Dash for her recklessness, but he was also enthralled by her prosperous endeavors.
Each color of the Sonic Rainboom impressed upon his eyes charmingly. Red characterized his fury towards the pegasus, and the love and passion he felt for his friendship. Orange represented Rainbow Dash’s outrageous, wacky nature. Yellow exemplified her joyful and delighted smiles. Green signified the outdoors, and he imagined the two sitting on the grass and laughing together. Blue reminded him of a time to meditate and calm. Rainbow Dash always seemed to do so when sleeping among the clouds. And purple. Oh, purple. The lucid hue embodied Spike’s very own romanticism. He didn’t quite know exactly what to feel. It was mysterious yet regal.
“YES! YES! I DID IT!” Rainbow Dash hooted, a forehoof protracted at her front.
Spike stared at the trailing rainbow as he clutched to Rainbow Dash’s chest. “You sure did, Dash.”
Rainbow Dash arrived at the jutting platform once again, swiftly landing onto the stony cliff. Amazingly, the two immediately hugged each other, guffawing in unison. Only contentment could be felt at this particular occasion, for they were thriving and healthy. It was a perk of youth, I declare. The spontaneity of a near-death experience brought those involved together, and the bond of their rapport was at its strongest.
“That was so incredibly stupid!” Spike chortled, holding onto Rainbow Dash in a squeeze. “I cannot believe we’re still alive!”
“He, he. I told you I’d catch you if you fell off the cliff!” Rainbow Dash snickered, squeezing Spike back.
“You’re seriously crazy, you know that?” Spike chuckled, shaking his head.
“Eh, I take that as a compliment.” Rainbow Dash beamed jubilantly.
Spike and Rainbow Dash gazed warmly into each other’s eyes. A new respect for the other was created, and as a result a longing to be even closer, physically and emotionally, had their hearts palpitating unreservedly. It is interesting to note that they their gazes did not break until a shadow from the mountain’s exterior washed over them. And when they detected the ambience had become something unrecognizable, they instantly separated just as hastily as they hugged.
“W-why don’t we crack open that cider, huh?” Spike scratched the back of his head awkwardly. “Let’s celebrate.”
“You’re…giving it to me?” Rainbow Dash blushed embarrassedly.
Spike nodded. “I think you deserve it.”
The two sat atop the cliff and finally took a gander at relaxing. Since the morning at the Farmer’s Market, neither the pegasus nor the baby dragon had had an opportunity to soothe and cozy. They had been so preoccupied with their bet that by the end of the day exhaustion took over and rendered their physiques spent. Rainbow Dash and Spike assembled onto the stony backing, staring out into the setting sky. A pink shade gradually enveloped the blueness of the firmament, and with each passing minute the sun ahead lowered towards the horizon.
The edge of the lands burned with the last light of day. The golden sun draped slowly over a canvas of pinks and reds, lighting up the sky as if lit by fire. The haze was so crisp and clear. The enormous, grandeur fireball in the distance was partially cloaked by the hanging clouds, which were all splashed with random tints of purples and blues. The sun was so large that both Spike and Rainbow Dash felt they could almost touch it. Valleys and all the pits of expansive hillsides swallowed the sun at a steady pace. Lakes and water reserves below reflected streaks of orange and mirrored the budding stars radiating from the darkening sky. Luna’s night was coming, and it was being painted as superbly as ever.
As a response to the grand exhibition, Spike and Rainbow Dash exhaled all their stress and worries simultaneously. Rainbow Dash popped open the thermos and lifted it to her lips, ready to taste the wondrous trophy. Though, in the back of her mind, a tug brought her to a standstill. Looking to her left, she noticed her friend had a simple, gentle smile on his face. To the mare, Spike suddenly appeared attractive. It might have been the glisten of his scales or the glamorized sunset overpowering her senses. Nevertheless, she couldn’t help but offer the thermos to the baby dragon.
“What’s wrong?” Spike asked, taken aback by Rainbow Dash’s offering. “You’re not going to drink it?”
“You take the first swig, champ.” Rainbow Dash placed the thermos into Spike’s hand. “You deserve it more than me.”
Spike hesitantly held the thermos up to his face. “Are you sure? You can have it all if you want.”
Rainbow Dash answered, whispering. “Go for it.”
Spike sniffed the apple cider’s wafting fragrance. “Then it would be my honor.”
“Wait.” Rainbow Dash alerted Spike before he consumed the apple cider. “What about the bet, Spike? And that yellow magic that pulled you?”
“We can handle that later.” Spike reassured Rainbow Dash. “But now, let’s just enjoy this special moment.”
Rainbow Dash was able to understand Spike's adopted apathy. She, too, believed there were certain times when one needed to just let go. And now was one of those times.
“To apple cider!” Rainbow Dash cheered, giggling.
“To our friendship.” Spike said, bringing the apple cider to his lips.
The pegasus and the baby dragon rested atop the mountain cliff that evening. While sharing the scrumptious apple cider, Rainbow Dash and Spike silently watched as the pearly white moon rose from under the horizon. The added brilliance of the moon and stars only served to accentuate the ethereal fields of the atmosphere. An eternal flutter defined this valuable portion of Spike and Rainbow Dash’s young lives. Unbeknownst to the two, a rose bloomed on that seemingly barren precipice. Because, subconsciously, Rainbow Dash scooted ever closer, centimeter by centimeter, to her draconian pal.
How do I recite the words of the chaotic? Many determined gamblers wanted a sure-fire method for success, so they all came up with ideas to interfere? Oh, if only that were the case. But as I remember there was much more to it than just the simple, disorganized offering of thoughts. There were councils, meetings, interventions and concentration circles relating to the bet initiated by Spike and Rainbow Dash. For an extravagant pot of bits sat comfortably at the end a shimmering rainbow, beckoning any willing to take a long, intense glimpse.
As the official bookkeeper, Pinkie Pie offered frequent, changeable odds to potential bettors. In order to efficiently inform the participants of the fluctuating nature of Spike and Rainbow Dash’s game, the accountant applied mathematics and intermittent calculation to provide consistency in playing probabilities. It wasn’t so difficult, because as an especially faithful overseer to the satisfaction of her customers, Pinkie Pie invested a grand display of effort with an unfaltering beam on her face. Interestingly enough, her close companion Twilight Sparkle was completely ignorant of the pink pony’s masterful skill in arithmetic and sums. That’s just because she never bothered to ask, Pinkie Pie once told me.
Now, at the eve before the great conflict, a baby dragon and a pegasus rested atop a protruding platform at the side of a towering mountain. Though unperceived by Spike and Rainbow Dash, the risk-takers filling up the whole of Equestria below were plotting to either bring the two closer together, or rip them further apart. The very bonds of their relationship were to be tested. The chain links of such a union were to be towed and lashed at by the intrusion of maddening consumers. Did Spike and Rainbow Dash crack under the pressure of the barraters? Or did they flourish in preserving the magic of friendship?
Well, that’s a surprise for the ending, isn’t it?
Spike’s Rainbow Dash
The night sky was young, and assisting the illumination from the glimmering moon and stars above was Ponyville’s very own artificial lighting system. Candleholders and chandeliers were in apt use throughout the bustling town. In a state of unrest, residents scurried and functioned tirelessly to provide proper lodging to the surge of unexpected visitors. Having journeyed to witness the results of Spike and Rainbow Dash’s love battle, the majority of gamesters were forced to accept the fact that the bet was to continue for another day. The few that had expected so had immediately reserved a stay in the municipality’s hotels and guesthouses.
Years before, Ponyville had been selected to host the annual Summer Sun Celebration. Mayor Mare, a bespectacled Earth pony with an unbridled devotion to her imperial ruler, had taken it upon herself to supervise multiple projects. Responding to the call to administer the Equestria-renowned festivity, the elected official had gathered the state’s tax reserves and had funded the construction for accommodating edifices. In a year, a multitude of boardinghouses had been established for the anticipated tourists coming to rejoice in Nightmare Moon’s banishment.
But, now, even with a strip of inns lining the borders of Ponyville, a severe lack of housing for the sudden wave of occupants had the innkeepers pulling at their manes in exacerbation. The extreme demand for room and board overwhelmed the miniscule supply, and frustrated callers only made the problematic situation more futile at every passing minute. Ponies from adjacent lands and kingdoms, griffons and Everfree dwellers inevitably found themselves adhering to the advice of Ponyville’s innkeepers. Unicorns and Earth ponies were given permission to camp out on public grounds. Pegasi and griffons stayed with those residing in Cloudsdale. And creatures of the Everfree Forest returned to their homes within the cryptic shadows.
Even Applejack opened up her own home to those seeking refuge. Many took shelter in the Apple Family’s spacious barn, while others put up tents in the surrounding rural acreage. Like I said, though, the night was fresh, and nopony was snoozing just yet. This was mainly due to certain assemblies having been announced to take place at set hours of the evening. One such gathering was being held right on the Apple Family’s property. The site was located in a secluded parcel of land behind a set of fruit-bearing trees, and at the heart stood an overcrowded clubhouse turned gambling den.
The Cutie Mark Crusaders Clubhouse was lit and busy with activity. A large mass of Ponyville’s new denizens hoarded the tiny structure, filling every square-inch of volume available. The confines of the clubhouse overflowed with a variety of attendees. Earth inhabitants stuck to filling up the floors while those gifted with the ability of flight floated to the triangular roofing. There was neither nook nor cranny unoccupied. As an added emphasis of how jam-packed the clubhouse truly was, one should take note of the fact that, while by normal circumstance its capacity had been marked at around fifty, at the moment it was reaching a count in the hundreds.
At the front of the assembly was a light gamboge filly pegasus. She wore a rainbow-patterned cap resembling that of her hero’s mane. Standing behind an average-sized podium, Scootaloo beamed proudly and confidently to the throng of amassers before her. This was so awesome!, she thought excitedly. Who could have known so many would come?
“Attention, everypony! Attention! The Official Rainbow Dash Fan Club Super-Secret Special Meeting will now come to order!” Scootaloo announced aloud, banging a gavel onto the podium. “Quiet, everypony! We’re starting now! So settle down!”
Scootaloo scanned the vast number of ponies, griffons and Everfree creatures as they ceased their incoherent murmuring. After a minute of audible discordance, silence finally prevailed in consuming the atmosphere. Among the crowd were a few distinguishable figures: Fluttershy, Gilda, Iron Will, Zecora the Zebra, Tank the Tortoise, Octavia, Granny Smith, her grandchildren Big Macintosh and Applebloom, and the entire team of Wonderbolts gave Scootaloo their undivided attention, listening intently to every word spoken.
“I want to thank everypony for attending, and might I say we have a pretty hefty crowd here tonight!” Scootaloo spread open her forehooves, referring to everypony in the room.
“But first, before we get into our agenda, let’s all take a moment of silence to commemorate the memory…of Thunderlane.” Scootaloo pulled off her cap and placed it over her chest, lowering her head solemnly. “His sacrifice shall not be in vain.”
Thunderlane. Oh, that sad case. Currently, the pegasus was staying at the Ponyville Hospital, waiting to be transferred, for advanced treatment, to a medical facility in Canterlot. A pitiable victim of the horrors of food fights, Thunderlane had surrendered his livelihood the moment he decided to be drenched by punch in Rainbow Dash’s stead. When he had awoken in the emergency room, his mental state cried for salvation as he clawed the air in fright and panic. Nurses had been unable to handle the frantic pegasus, so they ended up sticking syringes of morphine straight into his system to sedate his suffering. Thunderlane has now been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and his supporters pray that he come out healthy and well. Hopefully, he’ll be released from handling a richer pegasus than when he was taken in, his friends and family pleaded. In mind and in finance.
A few ponies actually did bow their heads in remembrance of Thunderlane, but the bulk of the horde only looked to each other in confusion. Only those originally from Ponyville were associated with the gray-coated pegasus. Others from Canterlot, Dodge Junction, the mountains and the Everfree Forest were ignorant of his existence, and didn’t quite know who Scootaloo was mentioning in the first place.
“Who is this…Thunderlane?” Uppercrust, a mare from Canterlot, asked snootily. “And what has he done to gain such reverence?”
“Are you talking about that weakling that got smacked by the punch bowl?” Iron Will snorted, crossing his arms and flexing. “Like I would take the time to care.”
“Hey, you bully! Have some respect!” Pipsqueak yelled, looking up to the minotaur standing to his side. “Thunderlane fought for your right to be here right now!”
“What was that?” Iron Will glared at Pipsqueak menacingly. “What a joke!”
“May we continue the meeting, my dear Scootaloo?” Zecora said, attempting to cool the tension. “I am sure everypony here has much to do.”
“O-okay, let’s begin, shall we?” Scootaloo banged her gavel twice, clearing her throat. “There are many issues to address, so as President of the Official Rainbow Dash Fan Club I’ll start with the main topic of discussion, and then everypony can join in, okay?”
“Yeah, yeah, just get on with it.” Iron Will looked back to Scootaloo, irritated.
“As you all know, Spike and Rainbow Dash have started a game that’s gotten everypony betting like crazy! If you are here tonight, then that means that you placed a bet on Rainbow Dash to win Spike’s heart. Which is really great, because now everypony can see Rainbow Dash’s coolness firsthand for when she wins!” Scootaloo’s tiny wings flittered vigorously, demonstrating her excitement. “They had a date, and that was kind of awkward, but then Rainbow Dash ended it with an awesome food fight! And who won? She did, of course! As expected. And that just shows how right you are in betting on her. Because I know that Rainbow Dash’s super-extra-ultra-awesomazingness will be the sure victor in this game!”
“Yeah, Spike doesn’t have a chance! Rainbow Dash is just too cool!” Peachie Pie cried out.
“Rainbow Dash is going to win for sure!” Berry Punch declared.
“Go Rainbow Dash!” Derpy Hooves shouted, bumping her head on the roof.
“TEAM RAINBOW DASH!”
“Mrawr…” Tank crowed weakly, blinking slugishly.
“Yes, yes! It’s obvious she’s going to win, but I’ve called this meeting so we can all come together to think of a plan to hurry up what’s bound to happen, anyway! If she’s going to be the winner, we might as well speed up the process to her victory, right? So I say we should all think of some ideas! Like, what can we do to help her out?
“And as you can recall, Rainbow Dash made another awesome Sonic Rainboom earlier today! I know it was Rainbow Dash because she’s the only pegasus fast enough to make one!” Scootaloo hoof-pumped the air, squealing. “It looks like it was coming from the mountains, so I think Spike and Rainbow Dash are somewhere in that area.”
Rainbow Dash’s recently spectacular Sonic Rainboom had been seen throughout Equestria, especially by the town adjacent to the mountains the pegasus had been securing herself in. The Sonic Rainboom had produced a traveling, vibrantly-colored shockwave. The polychromatic ring had expanded from its source, washing over the sky like a ripple in water. It had been a glorious sight to behold, and as everypony below had witnessed the show of variegated lights, budding rumors and gossip immediately ensued. What had happened? Why had Rainbow Dash produced a Sonic Rainboom? Where were Spike and Rainbow Dash now?
“It really was beautiful. I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
“That’s our little Rainbow Dash. I’m blessed to be able to see it for the fourth time now.” Granny Smith smiled warmly, looking to Big Macintosh.
“Eeyup.” Big Macintosh agreed, nodding.
The roomful of gamblers began chatting about the Sonic Rainboom, creating a cacophony of mutters and mumbles. As much as Scootaloo wanted to take part in praising her idol’s skillsets, the filly understood there were other pressing matters to consult beforehand.
Banging her gavel once again, Scootaloo yelled. “Order! Order! We need to come up with ideas to aid Rainbow Dash! So what can we do? How do we ensure her a quick win?”
“She has to be hiding out in the mountains with the dragon. Maybe she’s already making the moves on that twerp as we speak. Easy victory, if you ask me.” Gilda started. “But in case she doesn’t make it happen, we can just pummel him until he gives! That way we can get our bits and get out of here already!”
“I-I kind of want to stray away from violence, though.” Scootaloo replied nervously.
One of the Diamond Dogs chimed in. “Well, if we can’t hurt him, then how about we, like, stuff him into a room! Yeah, like a small room, you know? And then, uh, and then we leave him in there, you know, inside the room! Actually, a small room might be hard to find, so we can just put him in a cage! I think that works better, actually! So we leave him in his tiny cage until the baby forfeits! Hah! I’m already liking this idea more and more! We could keep him imprisoned in a cave, too. So nopony from the other team can release him! I know a few caves we can leave him in. And we don’t let him out until he settles to our demands! Well, we don’t even have to let him out at all, actually.”
“Um, I don’t think that will-“ Scootaloo responded, shocked.
“A love potion! A love potion could work! We could make a love potion and then slip it into a special punch. I’d be happy to provide the punch! Berry Punch cut off Scootaloo, looking to Zecora. “Zecora, can’t we make a love potion with your exotic ingredients?”
“The type of brew you speak of is very dangerous to make.” Zecora shook her head, rhyming. “Without proper care and understanding, there will only be quakes.”
“’Quakes’? Who cares about ‘quakes’? As long as it gets the job done and bits in my pocket, we should just go ahead and do it!” Iron Will grumbled, determined.
“Well, we kinda did one already, and it didn’t really end well –“ Applebloom said, turning to her brother with an uneasy smile.
“Nope.” Big Macintosh said sternly.
“O-okay, we’re getting in some, um, ‘interesting’ ideas, but I think we should think more outside the box.” Scootaloo addressed, slightly discouraged.
“How about a dating game show? We could put them into this game show, in which Spike has to ask questions to mares he can’t see. In the end, he’ll choose Rainbow Dash, and they’ll fall in love, and then we all win!” Minuette applauded giddily, only to discover the rest of the room staring at her silently.
“How does that even begin to work?” Where are we going to get the props for the game show?”
“How do we know if Spike will choose Rainbow Dash in the first place?” Spitfire wondered.
“Won’t Spike recognize Rainbow Dash’s voice, anyway?” Donut Joe made aware.
“How will choosing her make Spike fall in love?”
“I don’t even think they would participate in this game show willingly.”
“YOUR IDEA’S DUMB!”
Minuette shriveled into herself, whimpering. “I-I thought it was a good…idea.”
Scootaloo called out quickly. “Hey, hey! Everypony, all ideas are welcome! We just need to keep thinking, okay?”
“This is ridiculous. Why I’ve decided to take part in this farce is beyond me.” Octavia sighed, whipping her head back. “How about this then? If the opportunity arises, I could serenade them with a cello sonata. I’m sure the masterful pieces of Marezart could stir up emotions of desire.”
“Now that sounds like a good plan!” Scootaloo bounced enthusiastically.
“I could…well…instruct Rainbow Dash on how to…um…write a love letter.” Fluttershy blushed as she noticed everypony had turned to her. “I mean, if it’s okay with you all. I think it could…help them get closer…together.”
Scootaloo cheered. “Nice! We’re getting on the right track! Come on, everypony! Get on this train of thought! We should be able to –“
“HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!”
A feminine voice cracked from the entrance of the clubhouse. Everypony in the room turned to the source of the disruption, finding Sweetie Belle resting atop Vinyl Scratch’s back. They both wore conspicuous headwear vibrant with purple and green. On the top lined four curvaceous spikes, each appearing larger as it climbed to the front. The hat-like apparel boasted a draconian demeanor. Wait a second. Were they wearing Spike caps?
The filly unicorn and the deejay pony had pushed through the stuffed clubhouse to purposefully interrupt the proceedings of the seminar. And it soon became obvious that they weren’t there to contribute to the cause.
“Who said you could use the Cutie Mark Crusader Clubhouse for this?” Sweetie Belle pointed a hoof at Scootaloo.
“I didn’t need permission, Sweetie Belle.” Scootaloo growled cutely. “As a Cutie Mark Crusader, I have a say in when the clubhouse can be used and when it can’t. And I right now I say it can!”
“We’re a democracy, Scootaloo! I should have been notified of this!” Sweetie Belle rebutted. “There wasn’t a vote!”
“Yes, there was! Two against one! Applebloom voted for a meeting!” Scootaloo grinned triumphantly, pointing her gavel at Applebloom.
“A-Applebloom?” Sweetie Belle gaped, spotting Applebloom peek out from behind Big Macintosh’s forehoof. “Wait! You’re on their side now?”
“Ah-Ah’m on nopony’s side! Ah’m just here because my family’s here!” Applebloom explained timidly.
“You really think your little cello recital’s going to do anything?” Vinyl Scratch chuckled derisively at Octavia. “The only thing you could do is bore them to death.”
“How dare you!” Octavia lashed out at Vinyl Scratch.
“Our Super-Secret Special Meeting’s been infiltrated! How did you Spike fans find out?” Soarin’ panicked, flapping his wings wildly.
Suddenly, a white-maned unicorn trotted in front of Vinyl Scratch. Her star-spangled wizard’s hat and cape publicized the Great and Powerful Trixie’s entrance. Behind her followed Snips, Snails and many others wearing the ‘Spike caps’ that proclaimed their allegiance to the baby dragon.
“Don’t make me laugh, you oaf! Everpony in all of Equestria knows of this insignificant gathering! Pitiful you’ve gone out of your way to indulge in such pointless matters!” Trixie barked out. “The Great and Powerful Trixie will make sure that puny dragon rejects that worthless pegasus you call Rainbow Dash!”
“What did you say?” Iron Will bellowed furiously. “If anypony’s worthless around here it’s you! You can’t even set up a show correctly!”
“WHAT WAS THAT?” Trixie gritted her teeth, her horn glowing brightly.
“Hold your horses, Trixie. The time will come.” Vinyl Scratch put a hoof to Trixie’s shoulder.
“Hey, don’t talk to the Great and Powerful Trixie like that!” Snips yelled at Iron Will angrily.
“Dah, yeah. She’s great and powerful.” Snails dumbly attempted at assisting his friend.
“Well, well! If it isn’t the traitors!” Scootaloo glared at Snips and Snails. “At one time you two were avid members of The Official Rainbow Dash Fan Club! But now you’re supporting our opposition like nothing’s happened!”
“That’s right! How dare you two step into our territory so nonchalantly!”
“Get out of here! You’re not wanted!”
“That’s not fair!” Snips argued, shaking his head. “We like Rainbow Dash, but we just think she has no chance with Spike!”
“As the new President of the Spike Fan Club and a Cutie Mark Crusader, I declare this clubhouse for our use only!” Sweetie Belle pronounced at the top of her lungs.
“You don’t have that right! What happened to democracy, huh?” Scootaloo banged her gavel vigorously.
“It disappeared the moment I wasn’t included in your vote!”
“Oh, yeah?” Scootaloo tested.
“Yeah!” Sweetie Belle answered fiercely.
“OH, YEAH?” Scootaloo repeated piercingly.
“YEAH!” Sweetie Belle thundered.
“Then as the head representative for Team Rainbow Dash, I declare war on Team Spike for use of the clubhouse!” Scootaloo roared, fire in her eyes.
“On behalf of Team Spike, I accept!” Sweetie Belle boomed.
“Oh, finally! The real fun’s starting now!’ Iron Will stamped his hoof. “Let’s do this!”
“The beef-head’s mine!” Trixie stared daggers at Iron Will.
“If it must be done, then let it be done!” Chief Thunderhooves readied himself for a charge.
“Come at me, sonny!” Granny Smith lifted her hooves in a fighting stance.
“CAW!” Cawed Pee Wee.
“MRAAWWRRR…” Tank and Pee Wee ogled each other down.
The sheer amount of body heat emanating from the congested clubhouse took control of everypony’s senses. Sweat seeped from their pores profusely, supplementing the seething antagonisms twisted and formed. Snarls and rumbles were the only resounding themes, scoring the hums before a conflict. Nostrils flaring, eyes pinpricking, teeth gnashing and erratic exhaling were faced against one another collectively. Hoofs stamped the wooden floorboards stridently, accentuating the aggressive nature of the entire scene. The belligerence was so thick in the air it could have been cut with a cake knife. Hold onto your seats, everypony. Because the Cutie Mark Crusader Clubhouse was about to be the home of an all-out war.
“OKAY, EVERYPONY! LET’S SETTLE IT ONCE AND FOR ALL!”
Instantaneously, Pinkie Pie, wearing her signature green visor, materialized from the center of the crowd, carrying her infamous Party Cannon. On cue, an explosion of confetti was shot from the festive mortar, stunning everypony present as they were sprinkled with colorful papers.
“There’s a way everypony can participate in the game! So the result of the bet will be in your hooves!” Pinkie Pie bounced animatedly.
“What is that pony going on about now?” Chief Thuderhooves said inaudibly.
“What do you mean, Pinkie?” Scootaloo asked, scratching her head confusedly.
Pinkie Pie leered, giggling. “We set up another date for Spike and Rainbow Dash! But this time everypony has control of it!”
“Another date?” Spitfire questioned, suspicious of Pinkie Pie’s sudden notion.
“That’s right! A date!” Pinkie Pie smiled brightly.
“But how does that benefit us?” Bon Bon scoffed. “I mean, your idea doesn’t make any sense.”
“Yeah, how does bringing them together for a date help Team Spike?” Davenport doubted.
“Well, that’s just part of the fun, Mr. Davenport!” Pinkie Pie replied, sticking her tongue out playfully. “Because while Team Rainbow Dash tries to make the perfect date, Team Spike can try to mess it up in any way possible!”
“Excuse me.” Braeburn tipped his Stetson hat. “But that sure don’t sound reasonable at all, actually.”
“Seriously, what kind of plan is that?” Lyra Heartstrings rolled her eyes.
“Can the bookkeeper even meddle with affairs like this?” Carrot Top speculated.
“Pinkie Pie, that plan stinks!”
“Leave us be to our war, you pink pony!” Iron Will shouted.
“It’s not like Team Spike would even be able to stop any plan we come up with.” Scootaloo waved off Pinkie Pie’s suggestion.
“What plan? Any plan you think of will only end in disaster if Team Spike were to interfere.” Sweetie Belle repelled, snorting.
“Did you say something?” Scootaloo put a hoof to her ear.
“You heard me.” Sweetie Belle maintained a stoic expression.
“Stop this incessant nonsense!” Trixie yapped. “It has already been decided by the fates that whatever team The Great and Powerful Trixie sides with will be the vanquisher in all challenges.”
“Oh, yeah, that’s somehow valid! Aren’t you Miss Look-At-Me-I-Can-Vanquish-An-Ursa-Major? Oh, wait! You couldn’t even vanquish an Ursa Minor! I bet twenty bits you couldn’t vanquish anything the size of an apple!”
“Yeah, you can’t vanquish anything!” Derpy Hooves agreed.
“NEIGHSAYERS!” Trixie shrieked, her right eye twitching.
“We’d set up the best darn date y’all ever seen in your lives!” Granny Smith stated assertively. “Right, Big Macintosh?”
“Oh, you think so, huh?” Vinyl Scratch sneered threateningly. “Think you can really deal with us?”
“Hah! Bring it on, Team Spike! Rainbow Dash’s gonna ream that toddler a new one!” Gilda freed her sharpened talons.
“Okay, now that just sounded wrong.” Vinyl Scratch laughed.
“Y-y-you know what I meant!” Gilda’s face reddened.
“So you’re going to take us on, eh?” Snips nudged Snails. “If anypony knows how to ruin plans, it’s us!”
“Then let the games begin!”
“YOU MEAN LET THE DATE BEGIN!”
“TEAM RAINBOW DASH!”
“ALRIGHT, EVERYPONY!” Pinkie Pie shot another barrage of confetti from her Party Cannon. “LET’S BOOGIE!”
The brilliant orb of night irradiated the largely unexplored mountains. Surrounded by its countless children of twinkling stars, the lustrous moon rested upon a canvas of infinite expanse. An entire universe lay beyond a cover of black and white, and the mysterious nature of it all entranced a baby dragon and pegasus. On a secluded cliff deep in the foothills of Equestria, Spike and Rainbow Dash sprawled out onto their backs and lied upon a cold surface of rock. Jutting out from a significant height, the precipice enjoyed total isolation from artificial lighting. The lack of such illumination allowed for an unobstructed view of the dazzling firmaments above. And as the two exhausted companions pointed to random constellations, attempting to guess their original titles and etymology, a period of serenity maintained a comfortable stillness. In the air there was only tranquility, and the nurturing effects sat well in Spike and Rainbow Dash’s consciousness.
“Okay, look at that one.” Spike pointed a claw to the sky, smirking. “Doesn’t that kind of look like Tank?”
Spike had spotted a pattern of stars resembling that of Rainbow Dash’s pet tortoise. Its curvaceous ring served as the shell and four protruding dots connected to craft legs. The glittery assemblage could have been labeled as any particular creature, but Spike found humor in pretending it to be a familiar acquaintance. The cyan pegasus beside him chuckled lightly at its similar shapeliness, and offered a hoof as a noted agreement.
“He, he. Yeah, it does look like Tank.” Rainbow Dash giggled, bumping her hoof to Spike’s fist. “Okay, what about that one? Look, it’s an angry Twilight!”
Rainbow Dash had referred to a gathering of sparkling blotches retaining a veneer similar to a frown. Three marbles formed an upturned bell, and two eyes glimmered overhead. Spike guffawed as he pictured his mother figure’s expression of rage. Yes, it was Twilight Sparkle, alright. A soft glower alone could have symbolized the countenance of the uptight unicorn.
“Ha! That’s so Twilight!” Spike slapped his knee, snorting loudly. “I can just see her now!”
“She’s probably all, like, where’s my number one assistant?” Rainbow Dash imitated Twilight Sparkle, scrunching up her face. “He’s got to do the chores for me!”
“Oh, it’s good to take a break for once.” Spike exhaled, holding his stomach. “But I’d rather do chores than be on the run from a horde of crazy gamblers.”
It had been an hour since the entrancing sunset of the day had taken place. After the two audience members atop the cliff had finished their prized apple cider, the mutual decision to relax and stare out into the heavens had followed suit. Now, Spike and Rainbow Dash laughed among themselves in harmony. The union of jokesters resulted in gut-busting hoots and toots. It was a nice time to just gaze up into an endless sea of the unknown and chat.
Though with elevation came stronger winds. And although Rainbow Dash’s thick coat provided warmth for the pegasus, Spike’s naked scales were no substitute for proper covering from the cold. The baby dragon began shivering as the temperatures dropped steadily, and he worried whether he could stay at such high altitudes until morning. Rainbow Dash took notice of Spike’s quivering state, and she offered to fly him back to Ponyville. Spike refused, however, for he had an eerie feeling that what awaited the two at their home was not particularly desirable. Rainbow Dash did not push the issue any further, though she grew more concerned as the baby dragon continued to show symptoms of discomfort.
“Spike, if we’re going to stay here for the night, then we should probably get a fire going or something.” Rainbow Dash stood to her hooves and stretched. “Your shivers are freaking me out.”
“Gee, thanks.” Spike said sardonically, sitting up and shivering. “I can’t help being cold. I think my body isn’t mature enough for high altitudes yet.”
“I’ll fly down and collect some fire wood.” Rainbow Dash flapped her wings, hovering. “I’ll be right back. So stay put.”
Spike looked to his surroundings blankly. “I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere.”
“But a fire would work, though. I’ll set up a fire pit.” Spike nodded, watching as Rainbow Dash neared the edge of the cliff.
“Right. See ya soon!” Rainbow Dash dove over the edge, disappearing from sight.
Spike cautiously peeked over the precipice and witnessed the cyan pegasus bulleting to the forests below. He tittered at the thought of Rainbow Dash unleashing another polychromatic shockwave. It was absolutely ridiculous if she were to generate a Sonic Rainboom just for some wood fuel. No way, Spike deliberated. Nah, she couldn’t be that insane.
The baby dragon shook his head as he scurried about the bluff, collecting a variety of splayed-out stones. He accumulated enough nuggets of rock to create a circular ring at the wall of the platform. About a meter in diameter, the fire pit sported simplicity. But as artless as it may have seemed, it was definitely efficient for enclosing kindled fires. Spike stared at his piece of work with a satisfied grin. He placed his back to the mountain and waited patiently for his pegasus cohort to return with the appropriate necessities.
Humming a catchy tune, the baby dragon lifted his head to face the starry opus once again. It truly was an ethereal evening for outdoors camping. Princess Luna had done a fine job at painting her nocturnal masterpiece. Such picturesque scenery could be better appreciated, Spike wondered. It was a shame there were still those in fear of the day’s darkness. Tonight delivered the perfect atmosphere for romance.
Spike’s heart palpitated fiercely as he drew his mind back to his beloved. The snowy white unicorn of his dreams entered his mind, sending him flirtatious glances. The baby dragon’s imagined version of the purple-maned mare trotted leisurely towards his open arms. Pursing her lips demurely, the exotic pony named Rarity blew kisses to her partner. She inched ever closer towards Spike, batting her luscious eyelashes teasingly. Oh, if only he could hold her right now!, Spike wished. If only she was in his company for this magnificent moment of passion.
“Let me hold you, my sweet.” Spike said aloud, his eyes closed.
“Nope. That’s not happening, pal.”
Spike shot open his eyes in shock. Rainbow Dash was hovering in front of him, leering mischievously. In her forehooves rested bulky sticks and logs of wood, probably broken off from dense tree branches. The dragon’s mind raced as he tried to understand the current situation. How long has Rainbow Dash been watching him? Was he making any funny faces? How did he not notice the pegasus’s arrival? Spike flushed in humiliation, turning away from the amused mare.
“So you want to hold me, huh?” Rainbow Dash pestered, snickering. “I kind of figured. You were bound to fall for me sooner or later.”
“Not likely!” Spike spat back, embarrassed.
“Ah, so now it’s ‘not likely’?” Rainbow Dash dropped the wood at the center of the fire pit. “You used to say it was ‘impossible’, but now it’s ‘not likely’. I knew you were coming around. Nopony can play defense for too long against me.”
“Whatever. You’re just twisting my words.” Spike assured Rainbow Dash, scanning the fuel for the fire. “You brought the firewood, I see. You were gone for like a minute.”
“What can I say? I’m that fast.” Rainbow Dash shrugged. “So is that pit going to keep the flames inside the circle? It looks kind of weak.”
Spike crossed his arms confidently. “It’s going to work. Just watch.”
Spike dropped to his knees and positioned his snout over the fire pit. Inhaling deeply, the baby dragon experienced a burning sensation within his core. His chest was branded a furnace as a smoky surge passed through his throat. Suddenly, a burp of emerald flames shrouded the firewood, latching onto it for energy consumption. Rainbow Dash drifted backwards in response, observing the ignition of blazes transform into a minute conflagration. Spike did it. There was now a bonfire for the two to share.
“Whoa. Cool.” Rainbow Dash flittered forwards, landing at the foot of the fire pit. “Nice job, Spike. Now you won’t be so cold tonight.”
“Thanks. It should last us a few hours.” Spike stood back up, scratching his head. “I don’t know if that will be enough fuel for the whole night, though.”
“Huh.” Rainbow Dash realized Spike was correct in his assumption. “Then if it starts to run out, I’ll just bring some more.”
“But that means you’ll have to wake up.” Spike made aware. “You don’t have to do that, Dash. I’ll be okay.”
“No sweat. I want to do it.” Rainbow Dash waved her hoof dismissively. “Besides, if it means more time for flying, then I’m all for it.”
“If you say so…” Spike replied doubtfully. “Well, thanks for bringing the firewood.”
“No biggie. You’re the one who started the fire.” Rainbow Dash extended her forehooves over the fire pit. “Feels great. You’re really useful, you know that?”
“You’re just realizing that now?” Spike laughed, taking a seat beside the fire. “You have much to learn, Dash. I’ll tell you that.”
“Wow, you’re the modest one, aren’t you?” Rainbow Dash seated herself opposite Spike.
Spike reeled back incredulously, chortling. “Are you serious? Did those words really come from your mouth?”
“Oh, shut up.” Rainbow Dash smiled wryly, swimming a hoof through her mane. “Honestly, though. You’re a great help, Spike.”
Spike opened his frozen palms to the cackling fire, savoring the heat it emitted. An apt-sized flicker soothed the dragon’s exterior, inevitably creating a flow of enveloping warmth. Spike gazed at Rainbow Dash as she eyed the dancing combustions fixatedly. She appeared mesmerized by the yellow and orange pyres, and her eyes drooped slowly as if in a daze. Simpering tenderly, Spike recognized a childlike spiritedness coming from the rainbow-maned pegasus. There was a cute innocence about her, Spike discerned. She produced a glow that could only render an individual awe-inspired. It was as if one just couldn’t refrain from hugging her.
The fact that she had complimented Spike on his expediency poked at the baby dragon’s heart. Rainbow Dash was his close friend, he accepted proudly. And that was a blessing in itself.
“It’s nice being with a good friend.” Spike said, stretching his toes in front of the fire. “If I have to be stuck on a cliff with anypony, I’m glad it’s you, Dash.”
Rainbow Dash pricked her ears up, startled by Spike’s sudden statement. She mused over the genuineness of his confession as she remembered events passed. An hour ago, the competitive pegasus had nearly admitted defeat to their game. At the time, she had done so in order to assuage the stresses and pressures weighing on her friend. But in a split second, right before she could finish her surrender, Spike had been pulled over the cliff by magical interference. She contemplated on whether the baby dragon had noticed her submission. As of now, he had not mentioned it. Did he not hear her? It was a possibility. Did he perhaps forget? That wasn’t likely, but it could be the truth. Or was he…ignoring it?
“Are you sure you’d rather have me here?” Rainbow Dash responded carefully. “Wouldn’t you want to be with Rarity instead?”
Spike’s eyes widened. “Well, s-sure, I’d like it if she was with me. But she wouldn’t be too pleased with such a barren setting, so I doubt she’d willingly stay the night here.”
“I don’t think she’d like even an hour of being here.” Rainbow Dash nodded.
“She’s not like you.” Spike specified.
“Yeah, she’s not a mare everypony thinks is a lesbian.” Rainbow Dash muttered solemnly.
Spike detected Rainbow Dash’s morose tone. Her mane hung over her forehead, concealing her facial expression. Spike couldn’t denote a hint of comicality in her last avowal, and he became apprehensive by the thought of his friend’s lethargy. Rainbow Dash was a pony filled with delight and sunshine. She was that amazingly agile pegasus that didn’t take contempt from anypony. Her buoyancy was so great there was a difficulty to match it. But for some reason she seemed down. And Spike didn’t like that one bit.
“That’s not to say that I wouldn’t choose you over her, Rainbow Dash.” Spike blurted instantly. “Because you’re the best choice for a campout of anypony else in Equestria.”
“What about Applejack?” Rainbow Dash tested.
“Who flew us up here in the first place?” Spike motioned to their environs. “Only the always-awesome Rainbow Dash!”
Rainbow Dash lifted her head. “Heh. You bet it was me!”
“I already told you to forget what everypony thinks. If our little bet doesn’t make them realize how straight you are I don’t know what will.” Spike said, crawling towards Rainbow Dash.
“I’ll show them.” Rainbow Dash guaranteed, holding up her hoof determinedly. “They have no idea how wrong they were.”
“They don’t know what’s coming to them, do they?” Spike chuckled, stopping at Rainbow Dash’s side.
“Hay, yeah, man!”
Spike’s motivating words re-boosted Rainbow Dash’s self-security. The two indulged in yet another fit of laughter, relishing in the peacetime of friendship. But after a while, the pegasus and baby dragon grew more drowsy as the moon rose higher into the sky’s summit. Fatigue eventually set in and sleep was soon priority on their agendas. Deciding to get some shut-eye, Spike and Rainbow Dash lied upon their backs simultaneously and listened to the subtle pops of their fresh campfire.
The nomadic clouds surrounding the mountaintops gradually reached the edge of the cliff. And as the cyan pegasus looked upon the fluff of their veils, she gasped at a familiar-looking splotch of mist. Was that…McCloud? Yes, it was in fact McCloud, the special cloud Rainbow Dash always preferred to snooze upon. It had reached the massifs she was taking refuge in, as if it were paying her a visit. Rainbow Dash grimaced as she realized she could have been napping soundly atop her precious McCloud as opposed to lying flat on rigid stone. Spike had seen the look on the pegasus’s face, and he immediately comprehended her dilemma. She was facing the clouds with a pained expression, and he understood her longing.
“You should sleep on the clouds. I can sleep here.” Spike spoke up. “My scales are tough enough for sleeping on rocky surfaces, anyway.”
Rainbow Dash lit up at Spike’s suggestion. That was exactly what she wanted to hear. Permission was all she needed to fly out and plop onto that puffy hearth. A bed of pillows awaited her, and she truly wanted nothing more but to coddle in physical luxury. Yet uneasiness held her back. Although the pegasus yearned for McCloud’s touch, she also found it disheartening to leave Spike alone. He was almost wiped off the face of Equestria by somepony’s magic. If she left him unaccompanied now, who knows what else could occur in her state of sleep? Her presence might be the very key to his survival.
“No, Spike. I’m staying. We don’t know if that unicorn or whatever is going to try something else on you.” Rainbow Dash refused wearily. “I have to be here for you.”
“For me?” Spike repeated, alarmed.
“So I can protect you.” Rainbow Dash said sternly, holding Spike’s gaze.
“Oh, I see.” Spike grasped the gravity of her words.
Rainbow Dash’s loyalty was uninhibited. Her unmoving resolve to leave Spike’s side touched the baby dragon. The pegasus traded rest and coziness for his sake, and she hadn’t bat her eyes twice for a refund. She risked a lack of sleep to gather extra firewood, and she chose discomfort to watch over her friend. Her gracious actions symbolized the fidelity of her Element. It was an attractive aspect of hers, and Spike was inspired to return the aid. It was the least he could do for dear Rainbow Dash.
“Put your head on my lap.” Spike offered abruptly, patting his stubby legs. “It’s much softer and warmer than this mountain.”
Rainbow Dash blinked, registering Spike’s proposal. “No way. I can just lie on my hooves. I’m fine.”
“Come on. It isn’t a big deal.” Spike argued. “I won’t do anything funny, if that’s what you’re thinking.”
“That’s not it.” Rainbow Dash shook her head.
“Then it’s okay then.” Spike dragged himself towards Rainbow Dash.
“Spike, I’m good. You don’t have to – “
Spike grabbed Rainbow Dash’s hooves, squeezing softly. “It’s alright. You can trust me.”
Rainbow Dash was rendered speechless by Spike’s impulsive behavior. She wasn’t too fond of others touching her hooves, and she knew Spike was aware of this. But despite this piece of knowledge, Spike took a leap of faith and hoped the pegasus wouldn’t freak. Reciprocated dependence needed to be established between the two, and the baby dragon found it of utmost importance to reassure Rainbow Dash that he treasured her trustworthiness. But now it was time to rely on him. Spike was going to be there for her, if she allowed him to.
After a minute of silence, Spike was sure he was in. He hadn’t been swatted away the instant he laid his claws upon the pegasus. And at this he was relieved. Little did he know, though, Rainbow Dash’s heart was beating wildly. She was utterly stunned by the gentle look Spike gave, and the kindness he was so vehement on dispensing made her tremble. Why was her heart acting so weird? Why was she so bothered by that cute look he gave her? Why was there something caught in her throat? What’s happening to her?
“I-it’s not that I don’t trust you. I-I’m just looking out for you, dude.” Rainbow Dash stuttered, her face growing hot. “Y-you might not be able to sleep if my head’s weighing on you.”
“Don’t worry about that. I’m about to knock out soon, anyway.” Spike yawned, craning his neck. “I think I’m going to hit the sack right now actually.”
“I don’t know…” Rainbow Dash paused, apprehension overwhelming her.
“Please, Dash. I’d feel better if I knew you were comfortable.” Spike assured.
“O-Okay. If it will get you to release my hooves already.” Rainbow Dash conceded, feigning irritation.
“Sorry!” Spike pulled back his hands, blushing.
“But don’t expect me to be on your lap for long.” Rainbow Dash added. “Once you’re asleep, I’m moving.”
Spike stretched his arms. “Fine. You can do whatever you want once I fall asleep. But for now, while I’m still conscious, I’m going to be sure your head’s okay.”
Now in a seated posture, Spike pat at his lap once again. He beckoned his friend to come forward. Rainbow Dash awkwardly crawled towards Spike, her respiration patterns becoming erratic. As she placed a hoof on Spike’s leg, she was surprised to make contact with calming temperateness. The baby dragon’s scales oozed a kindred heat, permitting the pegasus to edge closer. A swift gratification soothed her senses. The pleasurable warmth of his body reminded her of a midsummer’s sun shining upon a freshly showered coat. And after a few minutes of shifting and turning, Rainbow Dash finally rested her head onto Spike’s lap and exhaled.
It was quite challenging to relax, however. Rainbow Dash was painfully conscious of her short breaths, and she tried to maintain herself in order to not cause Spike any discomfort. Spike was too somnolent to notice the pegasus’s efforts, for her was already nodding off into the sands of sleep. Rainbow Dash’s body suddenly became hot. She couldn’t determine whether the reaction came from the body heat of skin and scales, or whether it was her own nervousness. She remembered Spike riding on her back before, clutching to her frame in a tight hold. But this time was different. It was undeniably a new sensitivity. It was just something she couldn’t identify, and she was scared.
“You really are the Element of Loyalty, Rainbow Dash.”
Rainbow Dash was brought out of her reverie by Spike’s mumbled comment. The baby dragon was falling asleep, and she noticed his eyes had already closed.
“What? Where did that come from?” Rainbow Dash asked, glancing up at Spike.
“It’s just…you staying up here to watch me…” Spike said hazily. “It’s nice…”
Rainbow Dash placed her head back down. “Well, duh, I know that.”
“Heh.” Spike rocked slowly, falling further into unconsciousness. “You always know…what to say, huh?”
“I can’t tell if that’s sarcasm.” Rainbow Dash giggled softly.
Rainbow Dash closed her eyes and let her eyelids paint yellow and orange kaleidoscopes as the heat from the fire washed over her. Flared nostrils focused on the smoky scent of charred pine. Limp ears were lulled by the whispering hisses and sizzling snaps of the swaying embers. Cyan cheeks took on a rosy shade. And the pegasus’s stresses were whisked away by the cool breeze. At that moment, there was no other place better to slumber than in the lap of the baby dragon.
“Spike?” Rainbow Dash murmured quietly.
“Mmm…” Spike answered, now losing cognizance.
Another minute passed, and only silent snores resounded from the baby dragon. His head bowed and his back slumped, Spike fell asleep seated on his rear. All the muscles in his face and body were totally at peace, like an infant in its first throes of napping. Not a twitch, not a spasm, barely any movement of his chest rising and falling with each intake of oxygen – such was the depth of his oblivion. Spike was at rest. He was at one with himself, rejuvenating the mind and tissues before the onset of yet another day of turmoil. And to Rainbow Dash, he was hypnotic.
“Spike?” Rainbow Dash whispered.
A gentle smile tugged at the ends of her mouth. She cherished the palpitation in her breast, and she didn’t understand the reason why. But she didn’t care any longer. Because she was happy.
Slowly wrapping her forehooves around Spike’s body, she tenderly nuzzled his scaly lap.
“I’m not giving up…”