Spike got back from a week long trip to Canterlot. As he approached the library, he got a distinct impression that something was wrong, due to how dark it seemed to be inside. Cautiously, he opened the door.
"Hello? Anypony here?"
The library was dark, save for the light from the door. Suddenly, a pair of glowing white eyes appeared, causing Spike to take a defensive stance.
Spike dropped his stance. "Oh, hey Owlowlisious." There was a distinct sound of wings flapping, then a moment later the lights came on.
"Woah, it looks like Twilight barely did anything in here since I left." A sound from upstairs made him freeze up.
"Is Twilight ... crying?" He decided to check, figuring that if she was, she needed him, if she wasn't, she would appreciate knowing he was home. He walked into her room, and found it was dark, but bright enough to see the outline of Twilight curled up and shivering.
Her head jerked up and looked at him.
"Spike?" He walked over to her and sat next to her.
"What's wrong? You can tell me."
She nuzzled up closer to him. "A few days ago was the worst day I've ever had, and I haven't been outside my room since." She couldn't keep her voice from cracking. Spike lightly pet her.
"What happened?" She looked up at him, and decided that it would be better to let it out.
The unicorn turned around to see a familiar canary yellow Pegasus behind her. "Oh, hey Fluttershy! How are you?"
Fluttershy trotted up and started pawing at the ground. "Well, I have something to tell you." Twilight was worried about what it might be.
"I love you."
The violet mare suddenly felt like a shrinking violet. Of all the things that could have been said, she didn't expect that. Or so bluntly. Even more so, she didn't like mares like that. It was like her mind shut down on her. "I... I... no. I'm sorry. I don't go that way. I... just... I'm sorry."
Fluttershy stood there for a second, then hung her head, "Okay..." She had a tear in her eye as she turned to leave.
Twilight watched her saddened friend walk away, wondering if there was a way to soften the blow any more than she did. She turned to continue back to the library when she noticed Rarity approaching her.
"Twilight? was she crying?" Rarity asked in a concerned tone. "What was she sad about?" All of a sudden, she turned aggressive. "Did you say something mean to her?"
Before Twilight could think of a response, Rainbow Dash swooped down from the clouds. "What did you do? WHAT DID YOU DO? Fluttershy was being nice, and all of a sudden, you broke her heart!"
"What in tarnation's going on here?" Twilight turned to see both of the earth ponies of the group approaching.
Twilight hoped one of them could give her some salvation.
Sadly, fate, like Rainbow, was not so kind.
"She made Fluttershy cry!" AJ's jaw dropped, while Pinkie's eyes went wide.
"Why the hay would you do that, Twilight? Ah thought we were friends."
"Yeah, well-" Rainbow went for another blow.
"Well friends don't make friends cry, Twilight!"
"But I-" Pinkie decided to get on the blame train.
"Twilight, you are the worst friend ever! Just go away, Miss Meany-McMeanypants!"
"... Then I just ran here." Spike listened intently.
"Don't worry, Twi. It will all work out in the end. I promise."
And it was a promise he intended to keep. As far as he could tell, he needed to find out three things; Why Fluttershy acted so quickly, how she's holding up, and what everypony saw.
He knew exactly where to start.
"Welcome to the Carousel Boutique, where every- Oh, Spike! How can I help?"
Rarity gave a quick flutter of her eyes, certain it would make him forget whatever chore Twilight sent him on.
"Stop that, Rarity. I'm doing this for me, not Twilight."
Rarity was taken aback. Not only did Spike resist her charm, he called her out on it. Rarity sighed and turned around.
"If it's about Fluttershy, I don't know any more than Twilight told you."
"Did you believe Dash?"
Rarity ts'ked. "Not for a moment. Twilight looked regretful, not aggressive. And I already knew of Fluttershy's little crush. Though if you ask me, there may be more to Rainbow's outburst then there appears."
Spike raised an eyebrow. "What, like she knew the truth but wanted to make Twilight feel bad?"
Rarity hid a smirk. "That, or she's jealous of Twilight."
Spike felt like his jaw was about to abandon him. "Jealous? You mean, as if she likes Fluttershy in that way?"
"Why else would she be jealous? I'm sorry, but that is all I can tell you."
"Why? Did you promise not to talk about the rest?"
Rarity sighed and started toward Spike. "No, it's just that I haven't seen Fluttershy or Twilight since, Pinkie and Applejack flat out refuse to talk about it, and Rainbow is insistent that Twilight was being mean. I wish you luck." She kissed him on the forehead.
"You're going to need it."
He looked at her for a moment, stunned by the kiss, before hugging her in return.
"Thank you. You've already helped me out quite a bit."
His next stop was Sweet Apple Acres, where he hoped Applejack would talk to him.
Hmmm... It's about noon on a Monday in mid-fall, so she would be... relaxing by the path to her barn.
It's not that Spike knew AJ, he just saw her. As he walked up to her, she looked right at him and frowned.
"What do ya want?"
Twilight gets misinterpreted and now I'm a bad guy? "I want to know what happened."
Applejack rolled her eyes. "Nothing happened. Twi insulted Fluttershy. That's all."
"What Twilight said was-" He was cut off by an apple hitting his head.
"I don't care what Twilight said, she was probably lying." Applejack rolled to her side, facing away from Spike. "Wouldn't blame her."
Spike frowned, before realizing a way to trick her into trusting him.
"Why would anypony be mean to Fluttershy?"
Applejack didn't respond for a second, laying there unmoving. Then she looked at him with a confused look on her face. "Because... they never met her?"
"How about they're jealous of her?"
Applejack sat up. "Jealous? Of Fluttershy? Why?"
Spike smiled. Now he had her attention. "Rarity told me that Fluttershy has a crush on somepony."
"Wha- who? Is that why Twi yelled at her?"
"Who is it?"
"I'm not going to tell you."
Applejack put her hoof to her chin. "Well, I can't just ask Fluttershy, Rainbow and Pinkie would probably just shrug me off, so that leaves Twilight and -"
"Rarity told me she was swamped with work."
"... Ya got me, Spike. Let's get to the library."
Spike couldn't hide his smile. He just got Applejack to listen to reason. He wanted a reward. And not just the pleasure of helping Twilight.
The library was the exact same as it was when he got back from Canterlot, which baffled Spike.
"Pretty dark in here, don't ya think."
"I was here earlier. Why would she turn the lights out?"
Spike walked up the stairs, with Applejack close behind. When he reached Twilight's room, he knocked three times. "Twilight? It's me, Spike. I'm coming in."
He opened the door and took a cautious step in. "Twilight?"
She was still in bed, and she looked like she was sleeping. Spike walked around the bed to look at her face and was shocked to see her eyes half open.
"You okay, Twi?"
She slowly looked at him.
"Spike?" She could barely speak. Spike put a claw on her forehead. It felt like it was burning.
"You look sick, Twi."
"I... I think I might die, Spike. I don't... I don't wanna d... die." She broke down crying.
"I d... please. Please don't let me die." Spike couldn't believe she was sick, let alone dying.
He took the next logical step.
"How do you feel, does anything hurt?"
"M… my stomach."
"How much have you had to eat?"
"N-nothing... since F... Fl... Flut..."
Spike and Applejack caught on quickly. They shared a knowing glance before Applejack headed off to the kitchen.
"Spike?" He looked back at her. "Who... who was that?"
"Applejack. She's going to get you something to eat."
"Why? Doesn't she hate me?"
Spike put his arms around her neck.
"Maybe. But that doesn't mean you should stop being friends."
"There, ya better?"
Twilight was finishing her fifth plate of food. Even though she was starving, she paced herself, a feat that impressed Spike.
"Just because yer upset about something doesn't mean you should starve to death."
"Yeah, thanks Applejack. Even though you're still probably mad at me."
"Yeah, but Spikes working pretty hard to find the truth."
Twilight stopped eating for a moment and looked at her plate in thought.
"It's just... Applejack, why are you here? You didn't come to hurt me, did you?"
"What? No way! Why would I do that?"
The author cringed at the statement, knowing it is true.
"Spike told me about Fluttershy's crush, and I figured that was what you were upset at her about."
"I- wha-? Are you saying I was fighting her for her crush?"
Applejack rubbed the back of her head. "Yeah, I figured-"
"Applejack, I was the crush!"
Applejack was visibly shocked. "Wait, that means-"
"Fluttershy was sad I rejected her! And I was blunt about it because she was blunt in confessing."
"Wait, Fluttershy? Being blunt about that?"
"Exactly! I couldn't believe it was Fluttershy!"
"Don't worry, Twi. I haven't given up yet." The two mares looked at Spike, who, for the most part, had remained silent. "Applejack, why did you think Twilight yelled at Fluttershy?"
"After Twi ran off, I asked Rainbow what happened, and she told me that Twi yelled at Fluttershy for bothering her. Something about Twi wanting to go to sleep."
Again, the author cringed.
"But now that's out the window, with the crush and the jealousy and-."
Twilight's ears perked up at that. "Wait a second, jealousy? What jealousy?"
Applejack raised and eyebrow. Spike face palmed. "I went strait to you after talking to Rarity. She doesn't know about that yet."
"Rarity thinks Dash is jealous of Fluttershy."
"Now, that's not what I said at all."
The three ponies- err, two ponies and dragon- were startled by the sound of somepony else standing in the doorway.
"What I said was that Dash is jealous of Twilight, for Fluttershy. How did you get that mixed up?"
At that moment, the author hit himself on the head, decided that he fun of himself enough, and needs to stop making these messages.
"Rarity? What are you doing here? Spike said you were swamped with work!" Rarity scoffed at Applejacks statement.
"Quite the contrary, I haven't had any work as of late." Spike decided to try to dig himself out of the hole he thought he was in.
"I wanted to get somepony to talk to Twilight! She was lonely, and-"
Rarity cut him off. "And I wouldn't have talked to Applejack for that very reason, so I really cannot blame you for making such an excuse. That was very noble of you, Spike, making sure Twilight didn't get too lonely." Spike smiled, taking in every little positive thing he could.