“Oh, Spike, this is just a beautiful spot you‘ve chosen,” Rarity moaned. “The view of Ponyville from here is just breathtaking.”
Spike smiled as he spread the red and white checkered sheet on the hill he chose for them to have their picnic, before turning and looking at the view himself. Before them, all of Ponyville could be seen, and there was even a good view of Canterlot Castle in the distance.
“That’s why I picked it,” Spike said, as he pulled out a sandwich.
“The view…it awakened a feeling I never thought I’d feel towards you.” Rarity continued, lying on her side, her sapphire-blue eyes looking into Spike’s green ones. “Oh, will you kiss me?”
Spike’s thoughts were racing faster than Applejack could clear an apple tree. This is the moment he dreamed of since he met her. The moment that he knew would be one of the single greatest accomplishments of his whole life. He wasn’t going to waste it.
It’s a dream, it has to be. Well, if this is a dream, I hope I don’t wake up anytime soon.
But right before their lips could touch, a purple hoof wrapped around his head and pulled him back. Spike followed the hoof to find that it was attached to the unicorn pony that he’s known all his life.
“Nopony touches my Spiky-poo without my permission, drag queen!” Twilight told the snow-white pony angrily.
Spiky-poo? And why is Twilight insulting Rarity?
Rarity was instantly back on her hooves, glaring at the unicorn before her. As her horn began to glow, Twilight just gave a smile, as her own horn glowed with her purple magic. They both stepped forward until their horns crossed.
“Try it. We both know who would win a magic duel.” Twilight taunted.
“You can’t stand in the way of our true love,” Rarity shot back.
“True love? I’m the one that took care of him almost all his life. The one he knows best,” Twilight said, as she went back to stroke his face, leaning in close. “You remember, don’t you honey? What we did last night?”
Honey? Last night?
Spike wanted to say something, but it’s like his voice was caught in his throat. He stepped away from both of them, holding his head in his hand, trying to wrap his mind around all of this. He hoped the pain he now felt would go away soon.
Did I…no, I wouldn’t do something like that…would I?
“If you didn’t keep your horn in those books all day, you would be able to spend more time with him,” Rarity yelled. “If Rainbow Dash would have taken you as her pet, Celestia would contact the police for stealing.”
“If you didn’t spend all day on those ugly dresses, you could see how he feels about me,” Twilight snapped back. “It’s a miracle you can even fit in any of them.
“Okay. That. Is. IT!” Rarity roared, before leaping at Twilight.
Both of them were kicking at each other, using their horns like swords, neither one able to get a decisive advantage. As their fight rolled down the hill, a purple glow surrounded Rarity. When they reached the bottom, Rarity was pulled off Twilight and frozen in place by magic.
“Twilight, don’t!” Spike yelled, suddenly finding his voice. I do love you…but I love her…I don’t know…I can’t decide…Aaaaaaaaaaa!”
“Aaah!” Spike yelled a bit, snapping straight up, gasping for air.
He found himself in bed, in the familiar bedroom he shared with Twilight. Downstairs, she could see Twilight, with her horn in a book like always. He put a hand to his chest to try and slow his racing heart.
That was a strange one, he thought, before something else occurred to him. And I can’t even kiss Rarity in my dreams.
As Spike came down the steps, Twilight yawned as she looked over at him. Her half-lidded eyes regarded him for a moment, before her brain was able to catch up with what her eyes were seeing. It was obvious what she was doing while Spike slept.
“Is it morning already?” she asked.
“Please tell me you didn’t end up reading all night again,” Spike answered.
“Sorry, Spike. But this one is so good, I couldn’t resist. I still…want to get….through a… few…more…pages…”
Her eyes started to close the rest of the way, as her head slumped down in the middle of the open book. The impact of head meeting book snapped her awake again, blinking, as she tried to keep her head up. Spike, dealing with this before, grabbed a throw pillow. As Twilight’s head came down again, Spike replaced the book with the pillow. Her head hit the pillow and stayed where it was.
As Spike grabbed a light blanket and put it on her shoulders and back, he regarded how she looked. Her light purple fur, only slightly lighter than his own scales. Her mane and tail of soft black hair, with a purple streak only adding to it. Then there was…
He mentally slapped himself when he realized what he was thinking. He realized he was just staring at her sleeping form, making her look even more beautiful…
No! Where in Equestria is this train of thought coming from?
Knowing that he wouldn’t be able to focus on his morning chores at that moment, he figured a short walk would help clear his head. Twilight probably wouldn’t mind if he started a little late. After marking her book page and putting the book on a table, he left the house.
After a while, he found that the walk wasn’t really helping. Since he didn’t have a destination in mind, all he had to do was avoid leaving Ponyville, as well as avoid any objects or ponies. Since it was still pretty early, not many were up.
As much as he tried, the thought of the dream he had still popped up, especially the last words he spoke in it. Though part of him just wanted to dismiss it as a dream, Twilight once told him that sometimes, dreams may not be random.
“How did she put it? She said that sometimes, our…what’s the word…subconscious, I think it was. Our subconscious speaks to us through dreams, and it knows us better than we know ourselves,” he said to himself.
As he walked, he noticed a couple of apple trees around him. Getting hungry, but not willing to climb, he looked around, and saw a shiny red one just sitting there on the ground. Figuring the owner probably wouldn’t even notice one missing, he picked it up and took a bite.
As soon as he did, he heard thundering steps of some pony coming up behind him. Before he could turn to see who it was, he felt himself being knocked into the air, with both him and the apple flying in different directions. As he came down, he felt someone catch him, and was met with the angry eyes of an orange earth pony.
“Caught ya, you thieving var…” the pony yelled, before realizing who she was yelling at. “Spike?”
“Hi, Applejack,” Spike answered.
“Mighty sorry ‘bout knocking you into the air like that,” Applejack apologized, while they both sat at a table, a slice of apple pie in front of each of them. “You’re just lucky it wasn’t Big Mac that noticed ya.”
“That would probably hurt,” Spike answered, thinking about her older brother.
“So what brings you ‘round these parts, anyway?” Applejack asked. “It doesn’t seem you’re doing anything for Twilight.”
“I…was just wandering, and didn’t notice I was walking on Sweet Apple Acers,” Spike answered, staring at what was left of the slice of pie in front of him. “Have a lot on my mind.”
“Well sometimes talking about things, and getting ‘em off your chest, can make ya feel better,” Applejack replied.
“I…” he started, and then hesitated, not really wanting to mention it to anyone. “Promise you won’t tell anypony. Not even anypony in your family, and especially not Twilight or Rarity.”
“Ya have my word as the Element of Honesty that my lips are sealed,” Applejack promised
“Well, okay,” Spike said. After a deep breath, and preparing himself, he let it all out in a rush. “IthinkImayhaveacrushonTwilight.”
After deciphering what he said, Applejack waited for more. When nothing came, she asked “Is that all? Is that what’s bothering ya?”
“Is that all?” Spike repeated. “Applejack, everypony knows I have a crush on Rarity, even Rarity herself. But Twilight is different. She’s more like the aunt or big sister that I never had. I had a dream about it, with the two of them fighting for my love. I don‘t want to have to choose between them.”
“And you’ve been trying to sort out things since mornin’, haven‘t you?” Applejack asked, and Spike nodded. “Well, there’s nothing wrong about how you’re feeling. Living together as long as you probably have, even if you feel like you’re family, feelings can naturally develop.”
“Still, I’m worried what Twilight will do when she finds out. She may judge me, send me out of Ponyville so she doesn’t have to look at me ever again. Even if she doesn’t, it may come up in her letters to Celestia, and she may be the one to judge, to force me to return to Canterlot with her. They may send me to see a psy…psycia…what’s the word I’m looking for?” Spike worried.
“And I’m as certain as the fact Zap Apples will be back next year, that none of those things will happen if you tell her. I know that keeping things like this inside isn’t healthy. Ya trusted me enough to tell me, and I’m mighty grateful. But it could still eat at you later,” Applejack advised. “If you admit it to her, you’ll find that your fears are unfounded, and you can stop worrying. But you can be sure that she won’t hear anything from me. I‘ll let you decide if and when to tell her.”
As Spike left the farm, Applejack walked towards the orchard. Suddenly, Pinkie Pie suddenly popped out of a basket, flinging apples everywhere.
“You know what I’m going to say, right?” she asked, with unusual seriousness in her voice.
“Losing a friends trust is the fastest way to lose a friend forever,” Applejack answered, half sarcastic.
“Just checking,” Pinkie told her, sliding back under the apples.
Applejack just stared at the apple basket for a moment, then sighed and started picking up the apples that were tossed everywhere.
“I’ll never figure out how she does that,” she muttered to herself.
While he wasn’t sure if Applejack was right about his worries, Spike found that she was right about talking about his feelings. It did make him feel better to get it off his chest, instead of keeping everything bottled up inside. He still wasn’t sure when, or even if, he was going to tell her. But he knew it would probably be soon.
Until he opened the door to find an awake and upset Twilight waiting for him.
“Where have you been?” Twilight asked.
“Sorry Twilight. I…felt I needed to clear my head, so I went for a walk. Umm…want anything special for lunch?” he answered.
“Just a sandwich. And because you left without doing your chores, I want you to stay inside for the rest of the day. I may encourage you going out at times, but only when you get your chores done,” she told him.
Spike just sighed, knowing he was in the wrong. After bringing a sandwich to Twilight, he started dusting the bookshelves. Not being a bookworm like Twilight, he pretty much ignored the books he was dusting, until he noticed the title on one of them.
“Dealing with Love Triangles,” Spike said out loud, pulling it off the shelf and looking at it.
“I’ve read that one, mostly out of curiosity,” Twilight mentioned behind him, making him almost jump out of his scales. “So is someone besides Rarity capturing your heart?”
“No! I…I mean yes…uh…I mean…kinda,” he stammered out nervously. The simple sound of her voice made his heart beat a bit faster, and he would be sweating if he wasn’t a dragon. “I…I’ll…be upstairs. You know…if…if you need me.”
Clutching the book, he raced up the stairs and slammed the door shut. Twilight just stared at the door for a moment, before shrugging and turning back to her book.
Spike just sat on Twilight’s bed, staring out the window, thinking about what he read. Mostly because all the information he read pretty much boiled down to making a choice, and expecting someone to be heartbroken.
But there was the fact that one was his guardian, and the other was the most beautiful pony he’s ever seen. Also, nopony knew he was probably developing a crush on Twilight except for himself and Applejack. So nopony would really be heartbroken if he did choose Rarity over her, and things would be much like they were.
But if he did go for Twilight instead, there was the chance of breaking Rarity’s heart. He found that unlikely, since there was the fact that she’s shown almost no interest. Sure, he and the others came to save her from the Diamond Dogs, but she had that under control before they got there. He hasn’t totally given up on her, despite these setbacks, and still was hoping she’d come around.
“But how will I feel?” he asked himself. “I have to consider my feelings as well.”
‘Spike?” Twilight said from the other side of the door, cutting into his thoughts. “It’s starting to get a bit late, so I think it’s about time to plan dinner.”
“No problem, Twi. I’ll be right out,” he answered; glad he had something else to focus his mind on for the time being.
“So that’s the long and short of it,” Spike told Applejack the next day.
Spike hoped to talk to Applejack more about what he was going through, hoping the pony could offer some insight. Though he trusted his other pony friends, Applejack already knew the most about what was going on, and he didn’t want it spread any further than that. He feared what would happen if Pinkie Pie got wind of it.
“I can’t make yer decisions for you, especially when dealing with the heart,” Applejack answered. “But what I will say is that I know you’ll make the right decision for you. And even when you make a decision, the feelings for the other won’t go away, so ya need to deal with that as well.”
‘Wait, what?” Spike asked, shocked by what he heard. “So even when I figure things out, I’ll still have a crush on both? So how is a decision supposed to help?”
“In most love triangles I heard about, it’s best to pick one and server ties with the other. But you can’t do that with Twilight, since yer her assistant. And Rarity has you doing her gem digging for her after she finds them. Yer going to have to figure out how to deal with these feelings,” Applejack answered standing up. “Big Mac is probably wondering where ah am. But whenever you want to talk, I’ll be here.”
“Well, thanks for the help you could give me,” Spike said, as he left Sweet Apple Acres towards the library.
‘Oh, Spike, good timing,” Twilight said, as Spike walked into the door. “I just finished writing a letter for the Princess, and I need you to send it.”
“You wrote one? But I’m usually the one writing them,” Spike replied. "What’s the reason?”
Despite this, he took the parchment in his claw and held it upright. Turning towards an open window, he focused on the familiar magic he learned from years of practice, took a deep breath, and blew out some green flame. The parchment seemed to burn in seconds, as the magic flame made its way towards Canterlot.
“I horn-wrote it because I wanted to get advice from the Princess on a matter I didn’t want you to know about. Even though you’re a great assistant, and a great friend, we all have things that we want to keep to ourselves,” Twilight explained.
“Yeah…a great friend,” Spike thought, as he wandered outside.
He mulled over his decisions over and over, and got no closer to a final one. As he sat at the foot of the tree, he barely noticed the ponies coming and going, barely listened to Rainbow Dash being upset at Twilight for not having the newest Daring Do book that just came out 2 weeks ago. His mind was firmly centered on the decision he needed to make.
“I am never going to get anywhere like this,” He thought, as Celestia brought the sun down to make way for Luna’s moon. “Usually, I’d talk to Twilight if something was bothering me. But she’s the last person I…”
His thoughts were interrupted by a familiar feeling in his gut, and the feeling came up to his mouth, making him instinctively put a claw over it. Knowing it’ll be over soon, he took his claw away, and spit up a rolled up parchment. Probably Celestia’s reply to Twilight’s earlier letter.
As he caught the letter, something suddenly occurred to him. Twilight was unaware the reply has come yet. He could easily break the seal and read it himself, then reseal it later with one of Twilight‘s own seals, and get an answer to what Twilight wrote. He knew that he shouldn’t, whatever Twilight wrote was supposed to stay between her and the Princess. But his curiosity burned, as he stared at the parchment, and the secrets it may contain.
Spike dug his claw in right next to the seal, breaking it with a pull. As it came loose, the scroll unrolled in front of him. As Spike's eyes fell in the fancy print of the Princesses usual horn-writing, he heard a cough behind him. He gulped when he realized who it was.
"Please tell me that's not you, Twilight," he stammered, without turning around.
A purple glow surrounded the letter in his claws, and took it away from him, rolling it up at the same time. Spike followed it as it floated behind him to see it was indeed Twilight, looking more angry then Spike has ever seen her.
"I'm not sure what has gotten into you lately," she told him. "You act all nervous and jumpy around me, you're neglecting some of your chores, and now I see you reading my private mail."
"I-I'm sorry, Twilight," Spike answered, looking down at his feet.
"Is there something going on? Something I should know about?" she asked. "You know you can tell me anything, and I'll help in any way I can."
"There is, but...I want to keep it to myself, at least for now. Like you said, we all have secrets, and..."
"And I catch you trying to get into my own secrets," she finished. "You need to learn to respect other people's privacy. No dessert for a week."
The next day, Spike was getting some coffee ready, when he heard Twilight getting up and walking downstairs. He turned away from the pot to watch her as she came downstairs. Even with her hair a mess and her eyes barely registering, he thought she still looked great.
"Coffee should be ready in a few minutes," he told her, trying to focus.
Twilight simply nodded, as she went to the mirror and levitated a brush to her hair. Spike turned away to focus in the coffee, but occasionally glanced back to look at her. He was so focused on her, he accidentally burned the coffee.
"What is that smell?" Twilight asked, as she stepped into the kitchen.
"Er...hope you like it extra black," he answered.
Twilight levitated a mug of coffee to her lips and took a drink, her expression saying enough about how bad the coffee tasted. Despite that, she drank the whole glass down. She blinked and stretched a bit, awake enough to check her to-do list.
"I need to pick up a couple of quills to backup my backups, then I have to get that order of apples from Applejack. I also need to buy some groceries, get Rainbow Dash to return those overdue books, and still hope I have time to attend Pet Play day." Twilight said, mostly to herself.
"Sounds like you'll be kept busy," Spike remarked.
"And I'm getting started now," she said, levitating her saddlebags to her back and heading out the door, Owlicious flying behind her.
After she left, Spike sat down, his hand rubbing the top of his head. Because of this crush, he got in trouble, made Twilight angry, and even burned the coffee. It was affecting his life, and he knew he knew he had to get it under control once and for all. Sooner rather than later.
Twilight returned home that evening and looked around to see that Spike was nowhere to be found, but all the chores were finished.
"Spike, I'm home," she called out.
A quiet library greeted her, but as she looked around, she noticed that the bathroom door was slightly ajar, and she heard a voice from the other side.
Stepping closer, planning to just knock and tell her she was home, she heard what he was saying.
"Twilight, I know that you may not like me this way, and it may change our relationship, but I feel it needs to be said...no, that may be too long." he said to himself in front of a mirror. "Twilight, I need to tell you that...I have a crush on you. No, that just seems too formal. And I'm not sure if I can just come out and say it like that."
Twilight blinked and stepped away in surprise. Spike, the little dragon she considered a family member, the one she cared for since he was young...had a crush...on her?
Her mind spun, as she tried to process the information. She knew she saw him as a family member, so she couldn't return his feelings. She knew she would have to turn him down gently, but had no experience in that. None of the stallions in town seemed interested in the quiet bookworm unicorn, so she really had nopony to turn down. But it looked like she did now.
As Spike came out of the bathroom, he found that Twilight was home, and she was sitting at the reading desk. What was unusual was that there was no book in front of her.
"Twilight, you okay?" he asked.
"I heard what you were saying in the bathroom," she said flatly.
"Y...you heard that?" he asked in surprise and shock.
"Yes, she said, turning towards him and stepping forward, with a look of seriousness. After a deep breath to prepare herself, she said, "Spike, I think of you like family, and I really can't return the feelings you feel for me. To me, it would be like if I dated my brother."
"Oh," Spike said, his face and spikes drooping. "I guess I kind of expected that."
"But even though I can't love you the way you do, that doesn't mean I can't love you with everything I have." she continued, draping a leg around his shoulders and smiling at him. "You're still part of my family, and you'll still be my assistant. Nothing about that has changed. And I still love you, Spike."
"Thank you, Twilight," Spike answered, giving her a hug, which Twilight returned. "I love you, too."