by MellowSoul

Generations (Part 3)

Apple Bloom led Spike to a treehouse near the entrance of the woods. Contrary to how most would expect it to look, it was engineered down to the finest detail.

"Looks like it was built by a pro." Spike noted.

"Applejack and I built it a few years back. We wanted to make sure it wouldn't rot from the rain, so we built it from teak wood. We just installed a generator the other day."

"You guys have electricity in there?"

"Yeah. Didn't want Scootaloo and Sweetie gettin' bored. We moved some of our stuff inside so we'd have somethin' to do."

"That's awesome."

"You ain't seen nothin' yet."

Apple Bloom opened the door, guiding Spike into the structure's depths.

Spike looked around. Whether it was the style, location, or some combination of the two, he couldn't be sure, but he felt at home, like he'd been waiting his entire life to be there.

"You weren't kidding. This place has everything."

"Told ya."

Apple Bloom opened a compact refrigerator by the far left wall.

"Want somethin' to drink?"

"Whatcha got?"

"Got water, Pepsi, Coke, some lemonade, and a couple Gatorades."

"Lemonade sounds good."

Apple Bloom tossed Spike a small plastic bottle. He caught it with little effort.


"Don't mention it."

Spike took a swig of liquid. He didn't want to turn around...

"Remember, we're here to help her." Twilight's voice rang in his head.

"I know..."

"You all right," Apple Bloom asked, "Ya look kinda down."

"Yeah...I'm good."

Apple Bloom strolled over to the easels behind him. While she wasn't looking, he rubbed his face with his claw before spinning to see the painful sight. It was a painting of an open field. There were hills, grass, and flowers. The sun shined down over them. The dragon swallowed in fear.

"I painted this for ma and pa."

"It's really pretty." Spike complimented. He meant the words, but it was hard not to choke on them all the same.

"They died when I was a baby."

Spike felt a twinge of pain in his chest. Twilight's prediction had come true.

"I'm sorry..."

"I still don't know what happened. Lately, I've been wonderin' if anybody does."

"I know the feeling..."

"Whatcha mean?"

"I never knew my parents...They disappeared before I hatched..."

"No wonder ya sound so bummed out."

"It's like, you're grateful for the people around you, but you can't help but wonder how things would've turned out if your folks had been around."

"Yeah. Makes you think about a lotta stuff."


"I have an idea."

Apple Bloom retrieved a paintbrush. She held it out to Spike.

"Try paintin' somethin'. Might help ya work through the grief."

"What should I paint?"

"I dunno. Whatever you feel like, I guess."

"Mind if I turn on some music while we work? It helps me concentrate."

"Don't see why not."

Spike and Apple Bloom painted in silence for a while while Portrait of the Goddess played at low volume in the background. With the ice broken, Spike could get to the heart of the issue at hand.

"...Hey, can I ask you somethin' kinda personal?" Apple Bloom spoke.


"Do y'all believe in heaven?"

"There's a lot of ideas about what heaven's supposed to be."

"Ya think we'll get to see our friends and families again when we die?"

"I hope so. With the way the world is, I don't blame anyone for wanting to believe that."

"I noticed the cross around your neck earlier. Guess it made me wanna ask."

"For me, it's a symbol of devotion. To what, I'm not entirely sure."

"Devotion to the unseen's what religion's all about, ain't it?"

"Maybe. Guess that's why they call it faith."

"...I'm gettin' kinda tired."

"Take a load off. I'll probably be here a while. We can talk more later."

"Promise you won't try anything funny?"

"That's the last thing on my mind right now."

"I trust ya."

"I'll see you soon."

Apple Bloom curled up on the floor. Within minutes, her breaths became steady and rhythmic. Spike gazed back with sympathy.

"Sweet dreams..."

Sundown came. Twilight and Applejack opened the door to the treehouse. They found Spike resting by the canvases. Apple Bloom slept contently on the rug in the center.

"What do ya think tuckered 'em out so fast?" Applejack questioned.

"Angels..." was all Twilight could muster.

"Come again?"

Twilight shook her head.

"Nothing. Never mind."

The Alicorn placed a hoof on her brother's shoulder.

"Spike, it's time to go home."

The dragon groaned. He rose to his feet, stretching his limbs.

"What time is it?" he asked.

"A little after 5:30."

"Let me say goodbye."

Spike knelt at Apple Bloom's side. He nudged her awake.

"Hey...It's time for me to get goin'."

"Must've been out a while..." the filly replied.

"Listen, don't worry about the day-to-day stuff. I know it's hard, but you've got people looking out for you: more than you realize."

Apple Bloom nodded. Twilight retrieved her CD and walked toward the exit with Spike. The dragon stopped, veering back.

"Things'll turn around eventually. Once you reach your lowest point, there's nowhere left to go but up."

With that, the Sparkle siblings disappeared from view.

"Apple Bloom, what's goin' on?"

"Nothin', sis. I'll be at the house when supper's ready."

Next to the easel, a dark, barren version of Apple Bloom's original painting stood firm, it's destitution on full display for the world to see...