Duels of Dark Descent

by FelixTheBrony

Slight Frustrations (Spike vs Stranger)

Mild Frustrations

“Oh no, that’s horrible!” Twilight exclaimed, causing Spike to fall over and drop the pile of books he was carrying. “Did she say anything before she passed out?”

“No, she just smiled at me and zonked out right there and then,” Applejack’s static-y voiced replied over the phone. “Ah don’t know what coulda happened! She was as white as sheet and as sweaty as me after a big apple harvest!”

Twilight, wisely, chose to ignore the colourful image that Applejack painted, instead opting to use her magic to collect her saddlebags from her hat stand. “I’ll be there as soon as I can!”

“Thanks Twi, that means a lot,” Were Applejack’s last words before she hung up, Twilight rushing to the door.

She stopped, however, when she noticed all the books lying everywhere. “Spike!”

“Yeah,” He replied, already in the process of picking the pile up.

“How did you manage to…you know what, it doesn’t matter. I need to head to the hospital, so you finish cleaning up and meet me there, alright? Thanks!” She said, hurriedly, running towards the door.

“Wait! Why are you going to the hospital?!” Spike asked, putting the books down for a second. Twilight paused at the door, sighing.

“Applebloom apparently passed out earlier, so I have to go and support Applejack and make sure she’s okay.”

“Applebloom’s hurt?” Spike asked, concern staining his voice. “Well if you give me a couple…”

“No time, I’ll meet you there!” She interrupted, teleporting out of the castle, much to Spike’s shock.

“…What?!” He exclaimed, clenching his jaw and fists. “So I have to stay here and clean up while someone I care about is seriously hurt, while she gets to go just to comfort Applejack!”

He started piling up the books, much more aggressively, and stomped over to the ‘P’ section. “Oh sure, that sounds really fair! What’s her deal these days, anyway?!” He continued, placing all the books that belonged there in their rightful places.

“Give a mare a pair of wings and suddenly she can’t do anything wrong or something, sheesh!”

Outside of the library, a brown Unicorn stallion with a black cloak grinned when he saw the little dragon step out of his home. Excellent.
From his horn, a dark green aura shot out and hit the un-phased dragon, but his information was laid bare to the mysterious pony.

Name: Spike Sparkle
Gender: Male
Age: 13 and 6 months
Born: 7th January, 992 ANM (After Nightmare Moon)
Birth-place: Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns
Family/Guardians: Twilight Sparkle
Grades: Does not attend school
Deck: Mostly Spellcaster and Warrior monsters. Most cards tied into each-other for combos
Ace Monster: Dark Magician
Energy: Medium

Hm…This one does not have much in terms of energy, so I need to make sure to let some of his attacks through... The pony thought to himself as he approached the dragon.

“And why does she feel that she needs to go any more than I do! Applebloom’s my friend! She doesn’t even know her favourite colour! How would she feel if I said she had to stay back and read a book while I went and comforted Scootaloo because Rainbow Dash was in a crash!”

“Boy you sure do like to complain, don’t you Spike?” Spike jumped at the sound of his name and turned to the cloaked Unicorn. “I mean, seriously, is it that big a deal?”

“Of course it is!” Spike exclaimed, not caring who this pony was or why he was here. “My friend is hurt and she needs to know I’m there to help her!”

He heard the pony start to snicker and growled, menacingly at him. “What?”

“Aw, concerned for your little girlfriend, are you?” He mocked.

Spike blinked, almost not registering what the stranger said until his face flushed and he snarled. “Is there a reason you’re talking me?!”

“Well I was hoping for a game-” He said, using his magic to grab a duel plank from behind him. “-So prepare to duel!”

Spike turned and started to walk away. “Yeah, no. Sorry but I have better things to-” He started, before he smacked into an invisible barrier, causing him to fall back and clutch his nose in pain.

He turned to the pony, whose magical aura dissipated from his horn. “Um...Ow!”

“Sorry, but I must insist,” He continued, Spike’s duel plank unfolding from his neck of its own accord, much to Spike’s shock. “After all, I’m not going to be here long and I need this.”

“Okay, what the heck is going on here?!” Spike yelled while his deck auto-shuffled.

“Well, I need energy, and I plan on taking yours,” He explained, briefly, not caring if his plans are shared. After all, what would it matter when he and his colleagues can force duels anyway?

Spike paused for a few seconds, thinking about what he overheard on the phone earlier. Applejack said something about zonking out right there…Then that could mean…

“You’re the one that hurt Applebloom, aren’t you?!” Spike accused, drawing five cards, wanting to make this pony pay for what he did.

“I can assure you, that was not me personally. It was just one of my associates,” The pony shrugged, drawing his five. “But that is neither here, nor there. Because it’s time to duel!”
(Spike lp.8000 hand:5 deck:35)
(Stranger lp.8000 hand:5 deck:35)
“Hope you don’t mind if I make the first move,” Spike announced, not even waiting for a reply as he slapped a card down. “Because I’m summoning Charging Gaia, the Fierce Knight!”

As he announced this an armoured warrior riding on top of a purple horse with an armoured mask galloped onto the field. (Charging Gaia the Fierce Knight lv.7 atk:2300-1900 def:2100)

“Why did his points go down?” The stallion asked, causing Spike to grin.

“Well the answer is his level, see Charging Gaia would usually require two tributes to summon, but I can summon him for free so long as I drop his points to 1900. I’ll end my turn with one card face-down,” He finished, motioning his hand towards the pony, who drew silently.
(Spike lp.8000 hand:3 deck:35)
(Stranger lp.8000 hand:6 deck:34)
“First I’ll set one monster in defence mode-”

Spike rolled his eyes. “Jeez, don’t be too exciting or anything.”

“Oh you want exciting, then how about I activate two little spell cards, the first one being Toll,” He grinned, playing said spell as a large barrier appeared between the two player’s fields. “Now both of us have to pay 500 life points in order to launch an attack.”

“Riveting,” Spike replied, rolling his eyes. “Stall cards, any other ones?”

“Why yes, Chain Energy!” The stranger answered, as bands of yellow energy wrapped around both of their wrists. “Now the two of us have to pay 500 life points to normal or special summon, set or activate cards in our hands!”

“What?!” Spike exclaimed, looking over his hand. “So I have to pay life points to do anything!”

“Funny, I’m pretty sure that was your girlfriend’s response too,” He grinned as Spike’s cheeks flushed again.

“Are you done?” Spike growled.

“You’re hardly denying it,” The stallion teased, waving a hoof towards him.

“Just shut up!” Spike replied, drawing.
(Spike lp.8000 hand:4 deck:34)
(Stranger lp.8000 hand:3 deck:34)
“I’ll pay 500 life points to summon my Queen’s Knight!” Spike said, the bands around his wrists glowing as a women wearing red armour appeared before them. (Queen's Knight lv.4 atk:1500 def:1600)

He then pointed towards the barrier as it shifted. “And I’ll pay another 500 for Gaia to attack your defence monster with spiral spear strike!”
Gaia gave off a loud battle cry as he struck the defence monster…

…only for his lance to bounce off a large, machine with spikes pointing in several different directions.

The stallion grinned as he explained. “Sorry, but Gear Golem the Moving Fortress has 2200 defence points, so you’ll be take 300 points of reflect damage.” (Gear Golem the Moving Fortress lv.4 atk:800 def:2200)
(Spike lp.7000-6700 hand:3 deck:34)
(Stranger lp.8000 hand:3 deck:34)
“You know, maybe throwing your monsters at face-down ones, haphazardly isn’t the best duelling strategy?” He grinned, causing Spike to growl in frustration.

“I end my turn,” Spike finished, the stranger drawing his card.
(Spike lp.6700 hand:3 deck:34)
(Stranger lp.8000 hand:4 deck:33)
“I’ll just pay 500 life points to set a monster, your go.”

Spike grinned. “Ha, not so fun now, is it?!”

The stallion shrugged. “It’s not so much a bother for me, since I don’t have to play much.”

“We’ll see about that, my turn!” Spike announced, grinning at the card he just drew. Perfect!
(Spike lp.6700 hand:4 deck:33)
(Stranger lp.7500 hand:3 deck:33)
“First I’m going to pay 500 life point to summon King’s Knight!” Spike declared, a male warrior with orange armour standing up and brandishing his blade. (King's Knight lv.4 atk:1600 def:1400)

“And when King’s Knight is summoned in the presence of Queen’s Knight, I can automatically summon my Jack’s Knight to the field from my deck, so it won’t cost me any points!” He grinned as a fourth warrior appeared, this one bearing blue armour. (Jack's Knight lv.5 atk:1900 def:1000)

“You’re still a little short in attack points there, Spike,” The stranger grinned, before Spike smirked back.

“Well then, let’s fix that! By paying 500 life points, I can activate an old favourite. Polymerization!” Spike declared as a purple vortex appeared behind the three poker knights. “Now I can fuse all three of my knights together in order to summon…”

As he said this, his three weaker monsters started to distorted and meld together, before a larger knight, one in black, white and gold armour stood on the field. “…Arcana Knight Joker!” (Arcana Knight Joker lv.9 atk:3800 def:2500)

The stranger flinched back at the sight of such a powerful monster, who charged at Gear Golem. “Now I’ll pay 500 life points to have Arcana hit Gear Golem with royal flush!”

The knight roared as he swung his sword down, cleaving the unfortunate machine in half.

“And while I’m at it, how about I pay 500 more to have Gaia take out your face-down monster with spiral spear strike!” The warrior on the mount charge and impaled a one-eyed monster in a pot.

“That was Morphing Jar,” The stallion explained, once he shook off his uneasiness. “Now we both have to discard all the cards in our hands and draw five new ones!”

As he explained this, the monster streamed out and snatched the cards out of Spike’s claw, spitting them into the graveyard. Spike cringed and looked over his new cards.

“I’ll end here.”
(Spike lp.4700 hand:5 deck:28)
(Stranger lp.7500 hand:6 deck:27)
“Well to start I’m going to equip your monster with a little present,” Before Spike could inquire to what this present might be, the un-named pony played a card. “I activate Darkworld Shackles! This spell drops your Knight’s attack and defence points to 100 and you’ll take 500 points of damage during my standby phase-”

Just as the chains started to wrap themselves around Arcana’s legs, Spike discarded a card. “I activate Arcana’s special effect. See, I can discard a card that matches the type of card you play to negate it. So I discard my Mystic Box spell card to negate and destroy your spell card! Go matching set!”

As Spike said this, an image of said spell faded into the knight’s sword as he sliced the chains to pieces. The stranger grimaced, but still played another card.

“Well that was unfortunate, but let’s try that again regardless,” He said as the same chains appeared around Arcana’s legs again.
Spike cursed to himself as the chains connected and the knight knelt down in pain. (Arcana Knight Joker lv.9 atk:3800-100 def:2500-100)

“Ah ha, so no more spells in your hand? That’s too bad,” Spike growled at his comment, not noticing the bands of energy on his wrists glow brighter.

“Are you done yet?”

“I’ll pay 500 life points to set this monster. Your turn,” The stallion finished, motioning towards the dragon with his hoof.
(Spike lp.4700 hand:5 deck:27)
(Stranger lp.6000 hand:3 deck:27)
“Grr…I hate to do it, but I’ve got no choice, I pay 500 life points to tribute Arcana to advance summon Berformet!” Spike groaned, his powerful fusion monster turning into a multi-hued vortex before a four armed, winged daemon monster appeared in his place. (Berformet lv.5 atk:1400 def:1800)

“And when he’s summoned, I can add Gazelle the King of Mythical Beasts to my hand.”

“Spike!” He heard someone call to him. In surprise, both he and his opponent turned to find two white Unicorns, one smaller than the other, looking back at them in a mix of shock and anger. “What are you doing messing around like this?! Applebloom’s in the hospital!”

“It’s not my fault, Sweetie Belle! This jerk forced me to duel him!” Spike argued to the smaller one. The larger one turned to the cloak wearing pony, raising an eyebrow.

“Have you explained the situation to him then, Dear?” Rarity asked, to which the stranger replied.

“He has, but it doesn’t matter. I need his energy-”

“And you can have it! I pay 500 life points for Gaia to attack!” Spike announced as Gaia charged forward, only for his lance to bounce off of a large brick made monster.

“This is Stone Statue of the Aztecs, with 2000 defence points!” He explained. (Stone Statue of the Aztecs lv.4 atk:300 def:2000)
(Spike lp.3700-3500 hand:5 deck:27)
(Stranger lp.6000 hand:3 deck:27)
“Hey wait a minute, Spike only should have lost 100 life points. Why did he lose 200?” Sweetie Belle asked, confused.

“That’s Stone Statue’s special effect, Sweetie Belle,” Rarity explained, having a personal affinity towards rock-type monsters. “If it deals reflect damage, that damage is doubled.”

“I end my turn,” Spike said, reluctantly.
(Spike lp.3500 hand:5 deck:27)
(Stranger lp.6000 hand:4 deck:26)
“I’ll just pay 1000 of my life points to set a monster and a face-down,” The stranger grinned, two face-down cards appearing before him.

“You girls see this; he’s just been stalling this entire game!” Spike said, pointing to the spell cards. “If I hadn’t been attacking, those spells would’ve been the only thing that’s been costing me life points,” He continued, drawing his card.
(Spike lp.3500 hand:6 deck:26)
(Stranger lp.5000 hand:2 deck:26)
“Fine, you want damage. How’s this?!” The stallion declared, his face-down flipping up. “I activate Ceasefire! This trap card first flips all monsters on the field face-up!”

As he said this, his face-down monster revealed itself to be another Stone Statue. (Stone Statue of the Aztecs lv.4 atk:300 def:2000)

“And now, for every effect monster, it deals 500 points of damage to you, so that’s 2000 points of damage!” He grinned as the ground in front of Spike exploded, causing him to fall back in surprise.
(Spike lp.3500-1500 hand:6 deck:26)
(Stranger lp.5000 hand:2 deck:26)
“Spike!”Sweetie Belle and Rarity exclaimed, worried about his well-being while he picked himself up, glaring at the pony in front of him.

“If I wasn’t so happy about the card I drew...” He threatened, meekly, as both his monsters were replaced by multi-hued vortexes. “I pay 500 life points so I can advance summon my ace monster!”

Suddenly, in a cloud of purple smoke, appeared a mage in purple robes, grinning smugly. “Meet the master of magic, Dark Magician!” (Dark Magician lv.7 atk:2500 def:2100)

“So you can either attack, or you can activate one more card,” Stranger grinned, looking at Spike’s life points, which now only stand at 1000.

“Maybe, but then again-” Spike grinned back, playing a spell card. “-Maybe not! I active Dark Magic Attack!”

“Alright!” Sweetie Belle cheered, remembering said card. “That card destroys all of the opponent’s spell and trap cards if Spike has Dark Magician in play!”

“It what?!” The stranger asked in surprise as the magician gathered up an orb of green energy at the end of his stuff.

“You heard her! Go Dark Magician!” Spike ordered, the mage nodding and firing off the orb, causing Toll and Chain Energy to shatter. The yellow energy bands on Spike’s wrists fading.

The stranger started to sweat a bit, now at a bit of a disadvantage. Damn it! That was supposed to stop him playing anymore cards…

He shook out of it after a while, remembering something. Spike grimaced as he saw the stallion smirk, evilly. I don’t like that look. Maybe I should wait before I attack, just in case.

“I end my go there,” He said, much to the two Unicorn mare’s confusion.

“Why didn’t Spike attack? His monsters are in the open!” Sweetie Belle asked, confused.

“Perhaps he was afraid of a card in this guy’s hand. Some cards, such as Stronghold Guardian, would prove to be Spike’s undoing at this point,” She explained as the stranger drew his card.
(Spike lp.500 hand:1 deck:26)
(Stranger lp.5000 hand:3 deck:25)
“Well, since I don’t have to worry about Chain energy anymore, I’ll just set a monster and two face-downs,” Spike cursed as he saw his opponent’s back row get set up.

Great! What else can I look forward to?! He thought as he drew his card.
(Spike lp.500 hand:2 deck:25)
(Stranger lp.5000 hand:0 deck:25)
Almost as if to answer his question, one of the stallion’s face-down’s popped up. “I activate Two-Pronged Attack! This trap lets me tribute my two Stone Statues to destroy Dark Magician!”

Spike cursed as the two brick monsters shattered in a burst of thunder, striking down his best card, who shrieked in overwhelming pain. “I summon Gazelle the King of Mythical Beasts!” He announced as a brown lion like monster with a horn on his forehead appeared. (Gazelle the King of Mythical Beasts lv.4 atk:1500 def:1200)

“This is bad!” Sweetie Belle voiced, causing her sister to look at her. “Considering how many defence points this guy’s monsters have, Spike can’t safely attack with Gazelle.”

“Well, as Applebloom would say, it’s a risk worth taking-” Spike was interrupted by the stallion making kissy faces at him, chuckling. “Would you shut up about that!”

“I’ve still yet to hear you deny it,” The stallion teased, not noticing Gazelle leap towards his monster until it was flipped up as a satellite like monster with a big, grinning face. “And unfortunately for you, you’ve attacked my Cyber Jar!” (Cyber Jar lv.3 atk:900 def:900)

“So what? It only has 900 defence points,” Spike said, before Cyber Jar’s face transformed into a black void, sucking Gazelle into it before shattering. “What the-”

“Like it?” The stallion asked, grinning. “It’s Cyber Jar’s special ability. When he’s flipped face-up, he destroys all monsters on the field. Then we both draw five cards and either set, or summon all level 4 or lower monsters. You go first.”

Spike drew his cards and looked them over. Darn, Kuriboh and Mystical Elf. Guess I’ll play these in… He thought until he remembered the trap card he played near the start of the duel. Grinning he said. “I summon Kuriboh and Mystical Elf in attack mode!”

As he said this, a furry, brown ball with green paws and huge eyes, as well as a blue humanoid female wearing a green dress with flowing blonde hair stood up on the field. (Kuriboh lv.1 atk:300 def:200) (Mystical Elf lv.4 atk:800 def:2000)

“Why would Spike do that?” Rarity muttered to herself, watching as the stallion drew his five cards. “Neither of those monsters have many attack points.”

“Fine, if we’re going for stupidity, I might as well summon my Necro Gardna in attack mode,” He shrugged, summoning the red armoured, white haired warrior. (Necro Gardna lv.3 atk:600 def:1300)

At that point, Spike laughed as his face-down flipped up. “Caught ya; hook, line and sinker! Go Dark Renewal!”

Suddenly, between the two duellists, appeared a coffin. “See if you summon a monster while I control a Spellcaster-type monster, then I can tribute your Necro Gardna and my Mystical Elf to summon a Dark attribute Spellcaster from my deck or graveyard!”

As he said this, black smoke appeared as the two declared monsters vanished inside it. “Welcome back, Dark Magician!” He announced as the familiar mage appeared again, wagging his finger at the stunned stranger. (Dark Magician lv.7 atk:2500 def:2100)

“I see; Spike was baiting him!” Rarity stated while Sweetie Belle cheered.

Spike smirked at his opponent’s stunned look. “A good magician always has a trick under his hat! Now attack with dark magic attack!”

The Spellcaster charged at the stranger, but he recovers and a ghostly spirit of Necro Gardna appeared. “By banishing Necro Gardna from my graveyard, I can negate your attack!” He explained as the mage shattered the ghost to pieces.

Spike grimaced. “I end there.”
(Spike lp.500 hand:4 deck:20)
(Stranger lp.5000 hand:5 deck:19)
“I’ll set a monster and three cards face-down! Your move,” He declared, smirking. Of course, with Negate Attack, Dimensional Prison, Intercept and Trap Hole face-down, I hope you weren’t planning much of one.
(Spike lp.500 hand:5 deck:19)
(Stranger lp.5000 hand:1 deck:19)
Spike cringed when he saw the face-downs on the stallion’s field, but his eyes lit up when he saw his card. “I activate Magical Stone Excavation! This lets me discard two cards, like my Magical Hats and Ancient Rules, to get back a spell card from my graveyard. And I choose Dark Magic Attack!”

“Yes!” The ponies on the side-lines cheered, jumping in happiness.

“No!” The stranger exclaimed, conversely, as Spike played the card.

“Afraid so, so now all your spell and trap cards are destroyed!” Spike announced as all of the stranger’s back row was destroyed.

“But that’s not all. I now activate Bond Between Teacher and Student, which lets me summon Dark Magician Girl while Dark Magician is in play.” He grinned as a female in a blue armour and pink miniskirt appeared, winking as she did so. (Dark Magician Girl lv.6 atk:2000 def:1700)

“Oh great, I was hoping it wouldn’t be too easy to summon your monsters now!” Stranger complained, while Spike just shrugged.

“What can I say? Every magician has an apprentice, and now she’s going to show you why she was picked for the role! Go dark burning attack!” Spike declared as the female mage fired pink magic towards a familiar purple insect. (Needle Worm lv.2 atk:750 def:600)

“When Needle Worm is flipped face-up you lose the top five cards of your deck,” The stranger explained as a series of needles were fired into Spike’s deck.

“Well that’s not great, but now you’re finally wide open for an attack! Go dark magic attack!” Spike declared as the male mage fired green magic at the stallion, who flinched backwards.
(Spike lp.500 hand:1 deck:14)
(Stranger lp.5000-2500 hand:1 deck:19)
“And now Kuriboh will attack directly too!” Spike announced, much to the group’s shock as the ball of fuzz sprang up and bit down on the Unicorn’s head.
(Spike lp.500 hand:1 deck:14)
(Stranger lp.2500-2200 hand:1 deck:19)
“AH! Get off!” He exclaimed, shaking the fluff ball off and rubbing his head. “Ugh, need to get my shots when I get back tonight.”

“I’ll end with one card face-down,” Spike said, the card appearing.
(Spike lp.500 hand:0 deck:14)
(Stranger lp.2200 hand:2 deck:18)
The stranger laughed in triumph. “Sorry little dragon, but you really should’ve switched your rat into defence mode,” Kuriboh growled as the stranger slapped a monster down. “Since you have, at least, two more monsters than me I can special summon the Fiend Mega Cyber!”

A large, golden armoured warrior with a purple robe appeared, brandishing two claws. (Fiend Mega Cyber lv.6 atk:2200 def:1200)

“Now I’ll have him attack your fuzz ball and wipe out the rest of your life points!” The warrior charged at Kuriboh as Spike and Kuriboh started to laugh. “What the-”

“You know, for a guy that had so many traps set up, you certainly suck at seeing an obvious one right in front of you!” He said as his final card popped up. “I activate Switch! This card lets me change the target of your attack. So Dark Magician, counter attack!”

Just as it looked like the warrior would strike Kuriboh, a staff intercepted the blow. In shock, the monster looked up and saw Dark Magician smirk and shake his head as he threw the staff up, building green energy in his free hand, and punching Fiend Mega Cyber, causing him to shatter.
(Spike lp.500 hand:0 deck:13)
(Stranger lp.2200-1900 hand:1 deck:18)

“Oh come on!” Spike announced, still somewhat laughing as Kuriboh landed on his shoulder. “As much as I love Kuriboh, who in their right mind would just leave him on the field in attack mode!”

The stranger looked at his final card. Axe of Despair…Had I equipped this I would’ve…

He shook out of it and bowed his head, ending his turn.

“Finally! My Turn!” Spike announced, the end well enough in sight.
(Spike lp.500 hand:1 deck:12)
(Stranger lp.1900 hand:1 deck:18)
“And what he started, she’ll finish! Dark Magician Girl, dark burning attack!” The female mage nodded to Spike and flew up, gathering a pink magic in her staff.

Once she had enough stored, she fired the energy towards the stranger, causing him to stumble backwards as Sweetie Belle and Rarity cheered.
(Spike lp.500 hand:1 deck:13) WIN
(Stranger lp.1900-0 hand:1 deck:18) LOSE
“And that’s all she wrote,” Spike said, before he flinched and fell to one knee, panting slightly. The two female Unicorns noticed and rushed to his side.

“For now, yes-” The mysterious pony replied, grinning. “-But we are hardly done here.”

“Who are you?!” Rarity demanded, levitating the little dragon onto her back so he can rest.

“My name is of no importance, just my goal,” He stated, before his horn lit up and he disappeared in a wall of black smoke.

The three just stood there for a few seconds, unsure of what to do, until Spike poked Rarity in the back of her neck. “Not to be rude or anything, but weren’t we going to the hospital to see Applebloom?”

“Hm…” She mumbled before her eyes flicked up. “Oh yes, come along Sweetie Belle!”

“Okay!” She replied, noticing Spike yawn and clutch his own wrists. “Maybe you should try and get some sleep, Spike.”

“No way! I worked way too hard in that duel to see her, to just zonk out right after,” Sweetie Belle giggled a bit, causing Spike to glare. “What?!”

“Spike and Applebloom, sitting in a tree-”

“Please shut up about that!”

Rarity giggled at their antics until a sudden thought occurred to her. Well…Spike’s hardly denying it.

“Hey guys, what took ya!” Rainbow asked as Rarity, Sweetie Belle and Spike made their way through the hospital door. She was in the process of trying to calm down an anxious Fluttershy, while Pinkie and Twilight were comforting Applejack. Big Mac had to stay at the farm to keep an eye on Granny Smith.

“Spike had a run-in with some hoodlum and we decided to help him out,” Rarity explained as the little dragon hopped off of her back, stumbling a little before Sweetie Belle helped him gain his balance.

“Thanks,” He said to Sweetie Belle, before walking to Scootaloo, who was standing alone by the door. “How is she?”

“She’s fine, Loverboy,” Spike’s eyes widened as Scootaloo. “And before you deny it, I saw you guys in the orchard last week. You were acting very chummy, what with your arm around her and all.”

“…Why were you there?” He asked, rubbing his arm in embarrassment. After all, none of them were supposed to find out he and Applebloom were, technically, dating until it was official. Scootaloo rolled her eyes.

“I was supposed to meet up with her to go to dance class,” She explained, grinning. “Not that I minded, of course, since I got to see the two of you tripping over each other all day. It was hilarious.”

“…shut up.”

“Great comeback,” Scootaloo shot back, rolling her eyes, before motioning towards the door. “Doc came by earlier and said it was okay to see her. Figured you’d want to go, the rest of us already did. She’ll be good to go home in an hour.”

Spike blinked, then smiled gratefully. “Thanks Scoots,” He said, making his way through the door.

Scootaloo nodded and waited for a couple of seconds before Spike poked his head back. “Um…You haven’t…you know, told anyone have you?”

“Just Featherweight, so he doesn’t print you in the newspaper,” She grinned as that scenario suddenly ran through his head. “Relax, secret’s safe with me.”

Spike sighed in relief, smiling gratefully. “You’re a great friend Scoots.”

“Of course I am, I’m Scootaloo,” She smirked at his retreating form.

“Hey Spike,” Applebloom smiled as she saw the dragon hop into the seat by her bed.

He smiled and laid a claw over her hoof. “Hey Bloom, you okay?”

“Eeyup,” She answered, grinning. “Just had ta get a little shut eye, is all. Not that big a deal.”

“I think it is,” He answered, squeezing her hoof, reassuringly. “I heard some guy duelled you and took your energy.”

“Well, yer half right,” She said, before his words caught up with her. “Wait, Ah hadn’t told anyone Ah duelled today, nor that…”

She trailed off as Spike noticed the bandages on her hoof and flank. “What happened?”

“Well…While Ah was duelling this mare, Poverty, one of her monsters hit mah life points a couple times…And it actually hurt me,” She smiled at his worried looking face. “It’s fine, Spike, it was only a Leghul, could’ve been worse.”

“I guess…” He said. “And I knew you duelled because I faced some guy who said he was trying to take my energy.”

He noticed her return his worried face from earlier and grinned, proudly. “Don’t worry, I kicked his butt!”

“Didn’t doubt ya fer a second, but Ah won mah duel and look at the state of me,” She said, before he lifted a claw to stroke the side of her face.

“What state, you’re just as pretty as ever,” He grinned as her face lit up redder than her brother and she ducked her head to try and hide it.

“Aw shucks, thanks Spike. But seriously, how are you not tired?”

“Who said I wasn’t?” Spike replied, shaking his head a bit. “But I needed to see you and I wasn’t going to let something like sleep stop that from happening.”

Applebloom smiled, fondly, at the dragon’s loyalty and kissed his cheek, causing his cheeks to flare up. “That’s really sweet of you Spike, it means a lot to me. But you go get some sleep, okay? Ah don’t want you sleepin’ in and missin’ yer game day with Button and Rumble.”

Spike smiled and nuzzled his cheek into hers. “Worth it.”