Dragon Heart just stood there while looking upon a wooden house sitting within the branches of a tree. She tilted her head trying to wrap her head around its concept.
“So this… is your clubhouse?”
Sweetie Belle walked up to her showing a little sad face, “What’s wrong, you don’t like it?”
The look on Sweetie Belle’s face kind of made Dragon Heart hesitate a bit. She wanted to be careful not to hurt her feelings or the other two’s feelings too.
“N-n-no, it’s not that; I do like it! It’s just that, I just… pictured it to be a bit more… that’s all.”
Apple Bloom put her left hoof around Dragon’s neck and chuckled, “Ah, don’t sweat it; it’s just your basic everyday clubhouse. It doesn’t have to be all big and fancy to have fun in.”
Scootaloo came up and joined them, “Yeah, um… it’s just a place where we can hang out and have crusader meetings and do certain things together.”
“Like what,” asked Dragon heart.
“Well you know… like drawing, socializing, planning strategies, and other things; usually whatever we want!”
Dragon Heart looked at the clubhouse and realized that they’re right, it didn’t have to be more to seem cool, it was fine just the way it was.
“Oh, what am I saying? You guys are right; it is a great looking clubhouse.”
“Well of course,” said Apple Bloom with huge smile, “we helped fix it up after all. Did ya know this used to be my sister’s when she was around our age? So now she gave it to us to use it for whatever we want!”
“Wow, that’s was really nice of her,” Dragon Heart responded.
They all walked into the clubhouse and lay down to take a load off. Dragon Heart looked around at their surroundings and saw that the clubhouse did looked better inside than it did on the outside.
“Impressive, you guys sure know how to decorate a place.”
“Yep,” Apple Bloom replied, “we did all of it! Ah did the board work, Sweetie Belle did the cloths on the floor and curtains, and Scootaloo did… um, what did you do Scoot?”
“I was suggesting how some things looked and giving my own ideas of how stuff could be arranged.”
“Oh yeah,” said Sweetie Belle with a sarcastic look on her face, “So basically you didn’t do anything.”
“Hey, giving ideas to design the place is doing something!”
Apple Bloom suddenly got up brought a stool over to Dragon Heart who was a bit confused at first of what she was doing.
“Okay Dragon Heart, now place your left hoof upon this!”
Dragon Heart did as Apple Bloom instructed, then Apple Bloom stood at the opposite side of the stool an placed her left hoof on Dragon Heart’s.
“All right Dragon Heart, do you pinkie pie promise to become and always be a cutiemark crusader?”
“Pinkie pie promise?”
“It’s a promise that Pinkie Pie, that’s a friend of ours, made up herself, and it must… never… ever… be broken…ever…” Apple Bloom made a creepy face that freaked Dragon Heart out a little, “IT’S FORBIDDEN!!! Well it is to Pinkie anyway, but we abide by it nevertheless. So do you?”
Dragon Heart wanted to join but without the ability to earn a cutiemark how could she. However, she couldn’t tell them who she really was; after all knowing their thought about the Changelings, they would totally dismiss her as a friend. She wasn’t comfortable with lying, but she went on a head and made the oath.
“I… Dragon Heart… p-pinkie pie promise… to become and always be… a fellow cutiemark crusader!”
All the crusaders jumped up in excitement and cheered for her for successfully becoming one of them, and being their newest friend.
“Glad to have you aboard, Dragon Heart,” said Apple Bloom, “Here’s to you gaining your cutiemark!”
Then they all shouted, “YAY!!!”
“Thanks you guys,” said Dragon Heart with a little hidden hint of guilt in her voice, “This… really is very… honorable of you.”
It was around in the late afternoon at this time and Spike just woke up from a short nap that he took when he returned to the Library tree. He headed downstairs where Twilight was doing her usual work and he appeared to be heading for the door.
Twilight soon noticed this and spoke out, “Hey sleepyhead, up already?”
“’YAWN!’ For now at least,” said Spike while lazily wiping his eyes, “right now, I’m in the mood for something sweet.”
“No doubt you’re going to Sugar Cube Corner I bet.”
“That’s right, I’m going to get myself a nice delicious rainbow sprinkled vanilla cupcake, or 2, or 3, or maybe 7!” Spike’s mouth was being overrun by his constant drooling.
“Wow Spike, I’ve never seen you crave for sweets this much. Um… actually, scratch that; I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.”
Spike did a huge stretch to wake himself up more, “When I get back, I’ll be ready to assist you again!”
Twilight felt concerned of Spike and tried to help change his mind, “Come on Spike, you only slept for 1 hour when you got back; you need more rest than that.”
Spike scowled a little feeling a little annoyed, “I’m fine Twilight. I may still be considered a baby dragon but I can handle things myself.”
“I just don’t want you to tire yourself out,” Twilight responded with a worried tone, “You’ve been assisting me all day and now it’s about late in the afternoon. I’m sure you can wait until tomorrow to assist me any further. Until then, Owlicious can cover for you… as usual.”
Spike crossed his arms and was tapping his foot. He then lowered his head and gave up, “Okay, fine… you win. But he better do as good of a job as I would!”
Twilight chuckled trying to keep a straight face, “Don’t worry Spike, I’m sure he’ll do just fine, isn’t that right Owlicious?”
The night owl swooped down from his recent location and right down beside Twilight.
Spike opened the door and started to walk out, “Well, I’ll be back… but don’t expect me to hurry though!” With that he closed the door and left, leaving Twilight alone with Owlicious for the time being.
“So Owlicious, ready for your part of the assisting?”
He stood at attention on both of his claws and did a little salute pose with his wing.
“’Giggle’ I knew you say that.”
“Well, it’s getting late; we should be getting back to our homes,” said Scootaloo as she and the other Crusaders walked out of the clubhouse.
“Yeah, Applejack is always worried if Ah’m out too late; Big Mac too,” Apple Bloom responded.
“I’m staying at Rarity’s tonight,” said Sweetie Belle, “so I better go before she has one of her dramatic events.”
They all giggled while imagining the scene in their heads.
“So Dragon Heart,” said Apple Bloom, “tell us, what are your parents like?”
Dragon Heart froze in her step and smiled nervously, “Oh you know, they’re… interesting. They’re very protective of me, so I have to go to before they get worried… yeah.”
“Well okay then,” Scootaloo responded, “So will you be able to hang out tomorrow?”
“I’m not sure, I may not but… if I can I will. Besides I think that Pinkie character is going to throw me a party tomorrow.”
“Oh yeah,” said Sweetie Belle, “I guess that makes sense; we’ll just come to that! See you later guys!”
They all parted ways as they went towards their living destinations, except Dragon Heart who of course didn’t have a place to stay yet. She didn’t really care though; right now she only wanted to find who she was looking for. If she remembered correctly, the crusaders said that he lived at the library tree; so maybe she could look there. She could visualize how cute he was with his purple scales and green spikes. The way he acted during the invasion trying to protect others and be tough, she thought it was soooo adorable! She closed her eyes, smiled and thought to herself, “I wonder if he would feel the same way about me?”
As she continued to imagined, she heard a faint voice outside her imagination.
Dragon Heart found herself getting up off the ground from being accidentally knocked down. She groaned and was trying to keep her concentrating magic intact. The other voice then spoke.
“Whoa, are you all right, you should really concentrate on where you’re going. I could’ve seriously hurt… y-y-yooou.”
Suddenly, her eyes met up with the others’ and both of their eyes went wide upon seeing each other. Dragon Heart’s heart was beating rapidly as she slightly blushed upon seeing who was in front of her. She thought to herself, “Oh my gosh, it’s… it’s… him. It’s Spike. Do I look okay? I hope I didn’t just offend him by smashing into him.”
All Spike could do was freeze in the middle of his talking and stare at the peculiar looking filly. As he did he thought to himself, “Wow, who is this filly; she awfully cute. I wonder if she’s the new crusader Sweetie Belle and the others told me about. She has such a beautiful fire-red wavy mane and tail; and her eyes are such a perfect emerald green color. But she has no cutiemark; I wonder what her special talent could be?”
They both suddenly snapped out of it and tried to say something but ended up talking at the same time in stereo.
“Um… hi, my name is… oh, were you going to say something?! Nah, you go first! No you, I insist! Um… are you sure?!”
Then Spike spoke out first, “Um… hi, I heard that you’re new here. So… welcome; I’m Spike.”
Still quivering with nervousness, Dragon Heart found the courage to speak back at the young dragon.
“Th-th-thank you. My name… is Dragon Heart. My new friends told me about you and said that I should meet you. I guess now is better than ever,”
Spike slowly walked over to her and said, “I didn’t hurt you did I?”
“N-no, did I hurt I you?”
Spike put on a manly pretending to flex some muscles, “Nah, it’ll take more than just a simple pushdown to bruise me; my scales are pretty tough.”
Dragon Heart simply giggled a little at his little tough act, and Spike chuckled along with her.
“So you’re really the only dragon living in Ponyville,” asked Dragon Heart.
“Correction,” said Spike, “the only dragon living in any town in Equestria.”
“Oh yeah, right; wow, you sure are lucky.”
“Yeah… but not as lucky as I am now.”
Dragon Heart blushed suddenly, “Wait, what do you mean?”
Spike realized what he just said and his whole face suddenly blushed as well.
Spike kind of looked away for a few second, and then he asked, “So… tell me, you have parents, right? How are they like?”
Dragon Heart sighed and turned away showing a bit of sadness in her eyes, “I… I don’t want to talk about it right now.”
“Oh… okay, I guess you don’t have to.”
Spike could tell something was bothering Dragon Heart and he wanted to make a good first impression on her. “Um… hey, so uh… I was headed on my way to Sugar Cube Corner to get a little something to munch on; wanna come with me… j-j-just to hang out of course?”
“Um… sure, I don’t have anything else to do. Sounds like fun.”
“Great,” Spike shouted, “Then let’s go!”
Dragon Heart felt so proud of herself. She had finally succeeded in finding the young dragon that she grew feelings for, and even better she was about to hang out with him. Could it get any better than this?
“Well here it is,” said Spike, “Sugar Cube Corner; the perfect sweet spot of Ponyville for all your sweetful needs!”
Dragon Heart giggled again, “Sweetful? Is that even a real word?”
“Well it sounded like one to me, so I just ran with it.”
He suddenly opened the door and just stood to the side, “Um… l-l-ladies… first.”
“Oh, well… thank you.” Dragon Heart was so surprised of how much of a gentleman this little dragon was; he couldn’t be any more perfect.
As they both walked in, they were meted by the only pony working at the cashier counter at the time.
“Hey Pinkie Pie,” said Spike.
“Hiya Spikey! Welcome to Sugar Cube Corner, the perfect sweet spot in Ponyville for all your sweetful needs! I’m not sure if that’s a real word, but decided to just go with it!”
“Wow, took the words right out of his mouth,” Dragon Heart thought to herself, “What is she, psychic?”
“Oooh, and I see that you brought a friend. She’s very… ‘GASP!’” Pinkie just realized who Spike’s new friend was. “Omigosh! You’re… you’re that new filly I met earlier this afternoon; what an absolute surprise!”
“Wait, you two already met,” said Spike, “Why am I not surprised?”
“So you work here,” asked Dragon Heart.
“Not just that, I live here too! I work with the shop’s owners, Mr. & Mrs. Cake. I’m the only one here right now because they’re upstairs taking care of their twin foals. But anyways, in exchange to work here they let me eat and sleep here; it’s almost like I’m part of their family now!”
Dragon Heart sadly thought to herself in deep regret, “Part of a family, she must be so lucky.”
“So what can I get for you two lovebirds?”
The two visitors both almost stumbled and fell upon hearing Pinkie’s words. They both blushed while quickly looking away from each other.
“Lovebirds,” asked Spike, “Oh no-no-no! Not us; we’re just… um…”
“Friends,” finished Dragon heart, “We’re just friends.”
“Yeah, I mean… we just met only some minutes ago. So yeah… just friends.”
Pinkie looked at them with suspicious eyes, “MMM-hmmm. So what will it be?”
“I’ll have one of your special rainbow sprinkled cupcakes, if you so please.”
“Coming right up,” said Pinkie putting a little spring in her step. “What will you have, you cute little filly?”
“Just a strawberry cupcake I guess.”
“Okie doki loki, two completely different cupcakes orders coming right up!”
As Spike and Dragon Heart waited, they just sat there in silence while looking away avoiding direct eye contact. To them, it was a huge relief when Pinkie finally brought them their cupcakes.
“There you go, you two; and since you’re new here Dragon Heart, these two cupcakes are on the house!” Then she whispered, “Just don’t tell Mr. and Mrs. Cake, they could revolt against it.”
Dragon Heart had a good laugh at Pinkie’s little act.
“I know,” said Spike, “she really is something isn’t she?”
“Oh, by the way Dragon Heart,” said Pinkie, “did ya talk with your parents yet? Are they up for an outrageous party tomorrow!?”
“Um… well, actually…” She started to sweat a bit and her face signified that she wasn’t comfortable with the questestion.
“Um, Pinkie Pie,” said Spike, “I don’t think she’s very comfortable talking about her parents.”
“Huh, why not; oh my, did something happen, are they against fun or something? Or maybe they’re sick and they’re in danger of leaving…”
Suddenly, Dragon Heart spoke up, “No Spike, i-it’s okay. You see, the truth is… I don’t have parents anymore.”
“What,” stated Spike?
“Yeah… I’m an orphan.”
Pinkie let out a huge ‘GASP!’ again upon hearing the young filly’s words, “Y-y-you’re… an orphan? Does that mean you traveled here all by yourself!?”
“Yeah, I guess you can say that; is that a bad thing?”
Pinkie suddenly zoomed over to her and grabbed her in a tight hug while crying and sobbing, “Oh, I’m so sorry! How could I talk about your parents when they’re not here with you anymore!? I’m such a bad friend to you!”
“Its o-okay,” said Dragon Heart while trying to breathe, “You didn’t know anyway. By the way, could you not squeeze me so hard; I can’t breathe.”
“Oh right, sorry,” said Pinkie as she released her grip, “But coming here all by yourself means you have no place to go! So where can you go now!? I would invite you to stay here but we already have enough on our plate and we don’t want to add onto it… no offense.’
“Its fine, I’ve seemed to do fine on my own so far, so it’s not too bad.”
Spike found this as another opportunity to show Dragon Heart what kind of heart he has and to impress her with his kindness.
“Say, um… Dragon Heart, you… could always stay with me and Twilight… you know, until you know what to do with yourself.” He sort of tilted his head to the side while he said that, scratching his head and blushing a bit.
“Oooooh, Spike,” teased Pinkie, “are you trying to be a gentleman for the young filly?”
“Knock it off Pinkie,” murmured Spike.
“Wow Spike, I don’t know what to say,” stated Dragon Heart, “but, I would love to take you up on your offer; um… that is if I won’t be much of a burden.”
“Nah, not at all; we would be happy to receive your company.”
Spike’s heart went all a flutter when Dragon Heart gave him a light hug.
“Aww, isn’t that sweet! You’re all set now Spike!”
“You know… show her a little love.”
Spike gave her a little low-eyed look as they headed towards the door.
“Well, I guess… we should be going now,” said Spike, “just wait till you meet Twilight; she’s a great friend.”
“Thanks again Pinkie,” shouted Dragon Heart, “You really are a great friend!”
Pinkie waved as they walked out the door, “See you two later, and don’t worry Dragon Heart, I’m still going to throw you the best welcoming party this town has ever seen!”
She then just sighed to herself as her two recent visitors closed the door behind them. Right after that, Mr. & Mrs. Cake came down and saw Pinkie just sitting there at the counter staring at the door all dawww-eyed.
“Pinkie, what’s going on,” asked Mrs. Cake, “Who just walked out of the shop?”
Pinkie just sighed again as she answered, “Oh nothing, just a couple of fresh lovebirds who were blossoming their newfound love right before my eyes.”
The Cake couple just looked at each other with concerned eyes.
“Um… Pinkie, are you okay,” asked Mr. Cake.
Suddenly, Pinkie jumped up and stood up with motivation in her eyes, “Yes, but enough of that now! We have invatations to send out and a welcoming party to prepare for!”
The Cakes just stood there smiling awkwardly and thought to themselves, “Oh boy.”
“Your highness,” said #186 as he approached Chrysalis sitting and relaxing upon her throne, “I have a request to ask of you.”
Chrysalis looked down at him eyes of annoyance and lack of rest; she did just get back from hunting a food source. But she went on with it anyway.
“You may speak, #186.”
“Well you see, it’s usually my father’s job to scout around surrounding lands to look out for any event opportunities; but I’m afraid he’s a bit low on strength. I wish to humbly serve you by taking his place this evening.”
Chrysalis was unsure about this request from one of her lower rank soldiers; however she would need all the help she could get.
“Very well, your queen grants you permission to fulfill your father’s duty while he rest. Just be careful, and try not to draw attention to yourself.”
#186 kneeled down to bow at his queen, “Thank you my queen, I will do my best to please you.”
As he flew off and out of the nest’s entrance, Chrysalis looked in his direction with a cold-hearted leer. There was something about this that didn’t seem right to her.
“Come, #760,” she shouted.
#760 flew over to her side and bowed down, “How may I serve you my queen?”
“I sent #186 out to do his father’s duty, but I sense that he’s up to something. I want you to follow him; don’t let him out of your sight. And if he is up to what I think he is… bring him back to me so I can punish him… personally.”
“As you wish Chrysalis, my queen.”
With that, he flew off into the proceeding night in the direction of #186 carrying a smug little smirk on his face.
“’Sigh.’ I tried to warn you #186, now I’m afraid you’re going to have to learn your lesson the hard way.