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Today. Yes, today. Today was the day Spike was going to ask Rarity out on a date.
Or was he?
It was never a good sign when, while walking towards your goal, you imagine all of the things that could go wrong. Every step seems like a possible trigger or a chain of events that could stop you in your tracks, and when you finally get to where you were supposed to be you imagine every possible response of that other half.
Spike’s brain, of course, didn’t think exactly like that. He was, after all, just a baby dragon. Nevertheless his thoughts were as close as you could get to that train of thought.
Every day since his arrival in Ponyville along with Twilight Sparkle, Spike always told himself that he was going to ask Rarity out. Every single day he agreed that it was the day he will ask her out. Ever since Discord was free and, of course, defeated, he actually made an effort to leave the Library before Twilight woke up and go to Rarity’s boutique, but her insane beauty always made him sick in the stomach. Lovesick, if you could describe it. Before she even noticed him, he would leave right away and return to his small but comfy bed, only to be awakened minutes later by Twilight, who always somehow managed to sleep longer than Rarity.
Maybe she knew? He told her once that he had a crush on Rarity, and Twilight would pretend to sleep so he didn’t know that she knew that he went to ask her out every morning.
“She’s too beautiful for me.” sighed Spike as he walked back to the tree Library. He always made promises but how could he keep them? He was a natural coward. A simple thunder on any random day made him jump (and get hiccups), not to mention the time when Nightmare Moon appeared and he fainted, somehow managing to miss all the action. How could he ever change that?
His thoughts were interrupted by a small pain in his right bottom claw, followed by a disappearing feeling of balance and a thud against the ground. Yup, he tripped.
“Oww… What is this?” Spike asked himself as he looked back at what he tripped on. On the outside it looked like a rock but his scales must have scratched some of the outward surface off, because he definitely saw a glimmer of red.
“A ruby? Well that’s a surprise… maybe I can use that book Twilight got me for my birthday for once.” said Spike, picking up the ‘ruby-rock’ and taking it back to the Library.
“Well Spike, I’m going to Fluttershy’s house to help her with the animals. Are you definitely sure you’re okay staying alone?” asked Twilight, using the magic in her horn to get some books about caring for wild creatures to take with her.
“Yes Twilight. I have something to do anyway.” answered Spike, putting on his most innocent baby face. He didn’t want Twilight to know that he found the ruby because then she would probably ask where he found it and in the end know that he has been leaving the Library so early in the mornings.
“Well, okay. Just don’t overdo yourself.” said Twilight, a tone of concern easily made out in her speech. She left the house with the book and closed the door behind her with magic. Spike waited for a few seconds before running up to his bed and taking out his now cleaned up ruby.
The ruby was just like any other - rocky, cold and whenever you looked through it everything looked red. It was not its composition that was amazing, but the shape. It was shaped like a flame. It looked so natural that if it just happened to flicker across someone’s gaze they could quite easily mistake it for a real fire.
He lifted his own personal issue of ‘Jewels and Gemstones of the World’ from under his bed and opened it. As Twilight always taught him, he looked at the index pages first.
“Diamonds… Emeralds… Ah, Rubies! Page 143.” said Spike, skipping to the said page. It definitely didn’t help that there were no pictures in the mini-index of the Ruby section. Spike had to flicker through every page of different ruby until he finally found it, under the section ‘Heart’s Flame’
“Heart’s Flame… see Magical Gems, page 313.” Spike read out. That really was all that was on the page. A little annoyed, the dragon skipped right to page 313.
“Heart’s Flame, a naturally occurring Heat gem from the Eternal Winter archipe- archi- ar-chi-pe-la-go. Only the cold temperatures of the islands can keep the gem in place since it can quite easily melt the hooves of any pony or the ground. The gems sometimes lose their heat, due to which their ‘ruby flame’ form freezes in one moment of movement. Those gems are known to give Dragons great power and… vast amounts of courage…” this was all Spike read when he stopped, closed the book and looked at the gem.
“This… can make me braver? Wow.” Spike said to himself. There wasn’t anything with him eating the ruby - he did, after all, find it. It could make him stronger, and braver, possibly brave enough to… finally ask Rarity out on a date.
You’d think that when taking such a decision one would think a little more than just that. Not Spike. He shoved the entire ruby into his mouth, shoved it in his mouth and swallowed it. Then he sat down, a blank expression on his face. He felt… different.
“Sorry Spike, I forgot something- Spike, are you alright!?” shouted Twilight as she re-entered the Library. She looked at the blank expressioned dragon, and he looked back at her.
“I… I feel fine. And you know what? I’m not staying here. I’m marching right to Rarity’s boutique and asking her out on a date.” said Spike, his voice a lot more determined than usually. He got up and ran past Twilight before she even had time to answer.
“It’s about time.” said Twilight quietly, smiling to herself.