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Golden rays pierced the library windows; washing over most of Spike’s bedroom. His eyes were shielded from the sun by his blanket in a futile attempt to prolong his sleep cycle. Having long outgrown the confines of his own bed, his lower legs dangled limply over the edge. After numerous attempts to return to his slumber, Spike eventually conceded that he had no choice but to get up. Through much effort, he got to his feet. Something was wrong. ‘Was my bed always that small?’ He thought, shuffling to take a step forward. Upon his foot leaving the ground, Spike found himself falling towards it. A quick claw digging into the soft wood on the edge of his dresser being the only thing keeping him from face planting. It was as if a lead weight was placed in the center of his back with the exclusive intention of causing him to lose balance.
Pulling himself back up, Spike looked to the mirror. What he saw caused him to yelp in a rather loud and deep voice, stumbling backwards. A conveniently placed, surprisingly slippery, hard cover book literally caused his downfall. The purple dragon ingloriously fell backwards, hitting his head against the wall and slumping to the floor. Dazed, he sat there motionless.
A muffled shuffling of hoofs emanated from behind Spike’s bedroom door. “Spike? Are you awake?” Twilight Sparkles’ voice could be heard through the thin wood. With a soft creak, the door inched open.
Spike’s eyes went wide, “NO! Don’t come in! Some thing's happened. I’m... different.” He tried to hide himself in the shadows as Twilight opened the door; covering his face with a claw. He heard the soft tap of the door hitting the adjacent wall, signifying that the door had opened completely. He waited there for the inevitable scream. After a few seconds of silence, Spike parted a pair of his fingers. Cautiously, he peered out towards the purple mare who’s face he expected to have a horrified look. It caught him off guard when Twilight embraced him in a tight hug.
“Oh Spike, you’re going to make such an amazing adult dragon.” She spoke softly.
The last few minutes replayed inside the dragon’s head; his brain trying to decipher what had happened and even more importantly, why. “Wha-what? Twilight, I’m going to need an explanation. Why am I so big?”
Twilight relaxed her vice-like hold on him. She looked into his eyes, “Do you remember going to bed?”
“After engorging myself on gems and hay fries, yes. I felt like I was about to burst.”
She chuckled at his remark, “Yes, well... that was about twenty days ago.”
“WHAT?! Why didn’t you wake me? How did you take care of the library?” He paused abruptly. Sighing, he spoke in an accusing tone, “There are piles of books everywhere aren't there?” A suspicious eyebrow stretched up Spike’s forehead.
“Mountains of them. They could keep you occupied into the next month, easily. I would have tried to be more organised and put them away, had I known that it would take three weeks to complete your growth cycle.” Spike sighed and slumped back against the wall; which extracted another giggle from Twilight, who leaned in to embrace the demotivated dragon for the second time.
He shifted in his spot, only now realising everything his close friend had said. “Wait... what was that about a growth cycle?”
“It’s what your particular species of dragon does when they... come of age. You pretty much guts yourself and eat almost your own body weight in whatever you can find. You then go into something like a food coma. Over this time, your body enters this hyper-metabolic state and grows incredibly quickly.” Twilight backed up and studied the dragon as a whole. “Stand up and step out into the light will you?” She asked, holding a hoof to her chin.
Spike obliged and got to his feet. Looking down, he wondered why he hadn’t noticed the change to his legs -or more specifically, his knees- before. In what must have been a very awkward transition while sleeping, his knee caps had become inverted. A strange feeling of self destruction washed over him.
“... Fantastic. Now I need to learn how to walk again. I don’t even see a point to having backwards knees,” He sighed.
“It’s so you have the option of walking on all fours. You’ll find you can sprint much faster that way since your arms and legs are the same length now,” Twilight smiled reassuringly.
Spike took a tentative step forward, albeit feeling backwards. His foot, (or rather, paw, as it were, considering it was flat and had three thick ‘toes’) made contact with the floor.
He started to feel a little more comfortable in his new body. After a few seconds, he had completely regained his sense of balance. It would take some getting used to however; added weight some places; decreased or non-existent weight elsewhere. Slowly, the steps became easier and more controlled. With a sigh of relief, he came to a stop when he felt the warmth of the sun’s rays on his scales. Feeling his muscles aloof and slow to respond, he stretched out his limbs and let out a mighty yawn.
Twilight made a sound reminiscent of a gasp but with shreds of a scream. Her pupils had shrunken to the size of pin pricks. Her facial expression was a mixture of shock and awe.
Seeing his friend’s sudden startled gaze, Spike took a step forward. “Twi? What is it?”
She mumbled incoherently; gesturing for him to look into a large mirror to her right. He braced himself for what could quite possibly turn out to be the biggest shock of his day. Slowly... silently... he began to see what he had grown into over the past three weeks. His head had become elongated; a thin muzzle narrowed to a point. His spinal scales seemed much smaller now, compared to the size of the rest of his body. A massive python of a tail protruded from behind him. It seemed to float on the air, unaffected by it’s own weight. His neck was far longer now, as well as the region just below his chest. Spike couldn’t help but grin as he positioned himself with a better view of his slender yet muscular arms, legs and chest.
“Whoa, was I working out in my sleep or what?” He flexed his muscles in the mirror with a mischievous smile.
“Now, now Spike, you were supposed to get a big body, not a big head.” Twilight retorted to her friends playful boasting. She chuckled lightly before continuing; “You still haven't noticed them.”
He scratched his head in confusion; moving to turn side on. “Noticed wha- OH DEAR CELESTIA.” If his eyes could have gone any wider, they would have been a sea of the black of his pupils. A pair of extra appendages extended from the middle of his back. “Wings? I can fly now? That is the coolest thing ever!” The pessimistic part of his mind asserted it’s presence. “They’re... a little big, aren't they? Oh no, I don’t even know how to control them yet! They’ll just get in the way of my work!”
It was only as he approached Twilight when Spike realised that he was now noticeably taller than her while on two legs. In terms of actual dimensions, he was probably only slightly bigger than her.
“Don’t worry about the little details. I’m sure any and all of these problems can be worked out in good time.” Twilight cooed, “Now come downstairs, you’re bound to be hungry. We’ll get you something to eat.”
Spike’s stomach roared to life at the mere mention of food. The low rumble made both of them look down, “I guess that answers that.” She concluded, trotting out the open door. He moved to follow her but was soon stopped at the door frame. His wings were fully extended and had gone completely rigid. He sighed as he backed up and moved out the door sideways.
Despite what Twilight had said, the library wasn’t in that bad of order. A few randomised stacks of books lounged around the ground floor but nothing her assistant couldn’t handle.
Walking down the stairs, Spike found his natural balance. He could now walk as easily as in his previous form. Without the need to concentrate on each step, his attention wandered. An idea came to mind that, although slightly dangerous, would certainly make for a very entertaining party trick. He had read about the strange properties of dragon saliva, as well as the supernatural heat resistance of his scales. With a few strokes of his now long and thin tongue, he drew out his name invisibly on his forearm. Now came the risky part. With great control, a small green flame silently licked out from his lips, engulfing a large portion of his arm as he emptied his lungs of breath. The flames danced around his skin but did not burn it; demonstrating the incredible amount of heat resistance in dragon scales. After a few seconds, the flame dissipated into the atmosphere of the library. The thin layer of saliva Spike had applied to his arm now glowed a bright fluorescent red, spelling out his name. It was only slightly warm, having converted most of the heat energy to light.
He smirked at his achievement. It worked perfectly. He walked through the doorway into the kitchen; wiping the evidence of his risky action from his arm. Upon seeing the tall figure enter, Twilight smiled brightly while placing Spike’s meal on the table. “Thanks Twi, looks great.” He said as he sat down.
Spike surprised even himself with how quickly he devoured his meal. He sat back, satisfied. “You must have been hungry.” Twilight smiled at the dragon. After a few long moments gazing at the now quickly maturing Spike, her eyes glazed over and she felt a pull at her bottom lip. She tried to blink away the moisture gathering in the corners of her eyes; looking away.
Spike noticed the beads of water cascading down his friend’s cheeks. “Twilight? What’s wrong?” No sooner had he stood up than his only motherly figure in his life had charged furiously at him. Her head was down and her eyes were closed; erupting in more tears. He barely had time to raise his hands as Twilight leaped up and tackled him to the floor. With almost supernatural force, she locked her legs around the dragon and embraced him tightly. This instance could have easily been the tightest she had ever hugged any pony, much less a dragon.
Unlike the two previous times, this hug was reciprocated. Spike tried to embrace her just as tightly but felt weak. The feeling was probably due to the fact that he was having the very air squeezed out of him by the bone-crushing force that was an upset Twilight Sparkle. He was pinned, with absolutely no option of tapping out.
Her eyes were screwed shut, trying desperately to hold back heaving sobs. She relaxed her grip and suddenly Spike could breathe again. With one swift movement, she thrust his muzzle to her chest. His face was buried deep into her lavender coat. She arched her neck over his and nuzzled his spinal scales. They both held that positioned for minutes; seemingly frozen in time.
Twilight finally broke the ensuing silence. “No matter how old you get, you’ll always be my little dragon assistant.” She kissed him tenderly on the forehead.
Spike smiled, “Yeah, your little dragon that can do this...” The lavender mare let out a giggling squeal as he placed one arm over her lower back and the other behind her haunches and lifted her into the air. His head was still held her chest; Twilight using it as support as he started spinning around the room rhythmically.
Once back on solid ground, Twilight wiped away the moisture that had gathered on the sides of her face. “I’m sorry for getting all sentimental and motherly on you Spike, but I guess you’ve always been like a... son, to me.” Her face flushed.
“Aw Twilight, there’s no need to be sorry. You raised me from my egg. You’re the closest thing to a mother I’ve ever had; in fact I think I remember going through a stage where I started calling you ‘mommy’.”
“Oh, you were so adorable back then!” Twilight grinned as she thought about those days. Spike had indeed started calling her ‘mommy’. She remembered the first time it occurred vividly.
It had been a day just like any other at their home in Canterlot. Despite only pronouncing a single word on occasion and only in special circumstances a complete and coherent sentence, Spike had shown that he could quite confidently stack books in alphabetical order according to their title or author. There were even times when the speechless baby dragon would help Twilight find a book she had misplaced. That night, she had fed Spike and put him to bed. She had turned away from his bed to blow out the candle as she spoke, “Good night, Spike.”
Then it had happened. Just before she had left the room, she was stopped as the dragon spoke up. “Good night... Mommy.” Her heart, she was convinced, had melted like butter under a summer day’s sun. She had stood there silently for minutes. If it were possible to paint a picture of glee, it would have bared a remarkable resemblance to Twilight’s features. The only difference being that her face looked much, much happier. Tears of joy had started welling in her eyes and the baby dragon had visibly fallen asleep by the time she continued out the door.
Spike had continued to call Twilight ‘Mommy’. She never could tell him not to call her by that name. She didn’t know why, but it somehow felt... right. She was almost disappointed when he had stopped it and started calling her ‘Twilight’ or ‘Twi’. No objections could be made though, after all, she wasn’t actually his mother. Regardless, an unspoken understanding had soon been formed. The relationship of the two would be no different to the relationship of a mother and son.
The memory of Spike first calling her ‘Mommy’ had always comforted Twilight as she got older. Whenever she was going through a rough spot, she could remember that, even lacking any blood relation to them, she meant the entire world to someone.
Twilight snapped out of her reminiscing when Spike spoke up, “Alright, enough of the mushy stuff. What is happening today? I should probably get started on those piles of books.” He turned toward the doorway.
She stopped him, “Actually Spike, every one's been really excited about seeing you after you woke up. Wouldn’t you like to go out and show off your new... form?”
His face fell as he let out a long sigh, “I’d like to, but I don’t think that would be a good idea.”
“It took every pony a while to get used to a baby dragon living amongst them. Even a few weeks ago I still got some suspicious looks now and then... Now... now I’m even bigger and more threatening. I’m not too keen on getting run out of town by an angry mob.”
Twilight took a step forward. “Spike... No one’s going to run you out of town. I promise. They’ll just have to get used to the new you.” She made her way to the door, “It’s a beautiful morning, come on. I want to go to Applejack’s to get more of those wonderful red-delicious apples.”
Spike forced a smile, “Okay.”
The dragon squinted in the bright daylight of the morning. Large groups of ponies were already hustling down the street; continuing their daily routine. He winced at the feeling of dozens of nervous gazes settled upon him. Fresh glances would drill into his back every time he looked the other way. Twilight didn’t seem to take any notice as she led Spike through the streets. He tried to keep up, but felt himself lagging behind. His thoughts drifted to the new appendages on his back. He didn’t have much feeling in them. Twilight had explained to him that the feeling would become more sensitive and easier to control over the next 24 hours. While very limited, he had some movement of them at least. He flexed them as much as he could.
Without warning, the road on which they travelled was enveloped by the far-stretching plantations of apple trees that was Sweet Apple Acres. The pair casually rounded an intersection onto a smaller road that lead to the Apple family farmhouse. As they got closer, they started to hear a pair of voices. One was a low, mare’s voice with a thick southern accent; the other was higher, missing the accent and very tomcoltish. They were arguing about something. This was no surprise when it came to Rainbow Dash and Applejack. At any one point in time, they would be arguing over who won this or that.
The echos drew nearer, but from no particular direction.
Both voices fell suddenly quiet.
“WHOA!” They both gasped in unison. Spike spun around to see Applejack and Rainbow Dash looking up at him in awe. Dash immediately took to the air; circling him slowly. Applejack simply continued to stare wide-eyed at him; her mouth agape.
Her expression turned to one of nostalgic happiness, if one were ever possible. She chuckled, “Well, well, it looks like Ah haven't see ya in years. Last time Ah remember, you were only this tall.” She gestured an arbitrary height with her hoof. “Stop growin’. Yer makin’ me feel old, Spike.”
Dash had started poking Spike’s new wings with a smug look on her face. “...Wings.” She beamed. “I didn’t know you would be able to fly.” Floating up a little higher, she teased, “Come on! Show me what you got!”
Spike shook his head. “I only just found these this morning, Dash. They’ll be numb for a little while. Besides... I wouldn’t know the first thing about flying.”
“Well, we’ll just have to change that won’t we?” The cyan mare struck a triumphant pose and puffed out her chest. “Lucky for you, you’ve got the best flier in Equestria as a coach! A bit of training from me and you’ll be able to fly like a pro!”
“That will have to wait a day or two, Dash.” Twilight interjected. “Like he said, the nerves inside his wings are still yet to fully develop. It will be hard to control or feel anything from them for a while.”
“Fair enough.” Dash shrugged. “Come and see me when you’re ready.”
“I will.” Spike replied. Predictably, Twilight started trotting off with Applejack to get the apples she had been talking about earlier. He was temporarily left alone with his thoughts.
‘Huh. This is going to be interesting. Probably won’t end too well, though’.
First of all, why am I writing this? The answer? Because I think it will be a challenge to create an interesting relationship between two characters who never really interact in the show itself. Interesting concept, no? I do want to make it clear that this is the main reason I am writing this. I simply want to push myself out of my comfort zone as a writer. I want a challenge, gosh darn it and I will have one.
Looking back on it now, this wasn't as well written as I would have liked it to be, but HEY no one's been complaining... M. Bison seems to appreciate my work!