As the mares finished giggling, Twilight spoke up. "This is Spike. He's my number one assistant."
Garbledina took a closer look at Spike. His humble clothes were in pony style, but were of very fine quality. "Little brother?" she asked Twilight.
Since Spike was apparently still too flustered to speak, Twilight responded. "Something like that."
Garbledina nodded. "Well, it's a pleasure to meet you, Spike." Her expression grew thoughtful. "It's my understanding you bumped into my brother trying to learn more about what it meant to be a dragon?"
Spike nodded, managing to get his blushing under control. "Yeah. I've lived amongst ponies all my life, and after seeing how different I was from the dragons we saw in the Migration, I thought maybe I was missing something." He grimaced. "After seeing what I did, I'm not so sure I'm interested."
She rested a clawed hand on his arm, noticing the blush it caused. "Please don't judge our entire race by our delinquents. We have much more to offer if you're willing to give us a second chance."
Still blushing brightly, Spike swallowed convulsively and nodded. "I'll keep it in mind."
She smiled. "All I can ask." She took her hand back and stretched her arms upwards, unconsciously thrusting her chest outward, causing her jacket to slip open more.
"Uhh...GD?" Applejack spoke up. "Ya may want to fix your jacket before Spike has a heart attack."
Garbledina smiled. "Right." She quickly shrugged her jacket off, laying it on the arm of the chair before laying back topless. "That's much better."
"Not what I meant..." Applejack grumbled, averting her eyes and blushing.
"Darling," Rarity spoke, her voice slightly hard, "are you sure you should be...flaunting yourself so openly? There is a male in the room, after all."
Garbledina tilted her head in confusion. "What's that got to do with anything? I was actually going to ask why you're all still dressed?"
Rainbow Dash gnashed her teeth. "Look, I don't know what you've heard about us, but we aren't like that!"
Twilight face palmed. "Rainbow, dragons don't have a nudity taboo. From what I've learned from Celestia, clothing is only worn by females for safety purposes, like when flying to keep airborne particles from becoming embedded in uncomfortable locations."
Rainbow blinked, then lowered her gaze, blushing. "Oh."
Garbledina smiled. "Not entirely," she pointed out to Twilight. "Clothing serves a few other purposes, but most times dragons of either gender prefer to lounge around naked." She noticed Spike covering his face as a small bit of crimson flame briefly escaped his nostrils. "Males have it easy," she grumbled. "They've got a protective plate to slide over their genitals when not in use. Girls gotta wear pants to keep from getting a bird in her..." She blinked as Spike, Fluttershy, and Rarity all flopped over in a dead faint. "What's with them?"
Rainbow chuckled. "Spike's young, Fluttershy's an animal lover, and Rarity's just overly dramatic."
Garbledina nodded, digging into her salad at last. The greens were very crisp, and the ruby shards were some of the highest quality she'd ever tasted. "This is delicious!" she said happily. She began devouring it rapidly.
Twilight chuckled. "Spike's an excellent cook, once he's familiar with a kitchen," she replied.
"I may just have to stick around a while to try more of his cooking! Even the Elders rarely eat this good!" She swallowed the last bite, then realized how presumptuous her statement was. "If...if that's alright?"
Twilight laughed. "We'd be happy to put you up for a while. I have so many questions about dragon culture, mythology, government...I'd love to be able to interview someone who grew up with it."
Garbledina chuckled. "I'll answer as best I can. Some things I don't know, and some I'm not allowed to discuss with any but other dragons, you understand?"
Twilight nodded. "I understand perfectly. Spike!"
Spike groaned as he sat up. "Yeah, Twilight?"
"Please show Garbledina to the guest room. She'll be staying with us for a while."
Spike nodded, recognizing Twilight's research face. "Alright. It's this way, Miss."
Garbledina nodded, picking up her jacket. "Thank you so much for your hospitality," she said before following Spike up the stairs. She could hear Rarity starting to say something to Twilight, but decided to tune it out while she focused on Spike for now.
Male dragons in her age group all tended to be immature one way or another. However, Spike was most definitely different. While most dragon adolescents would swagger, Spike walked calmly. Where others might flex to get a females attention, he was calmly dutiful. This was proven as, when they arrived at the guest room, he turned to her and asked, "Is there anything else I can get you? To make your stay more comfortable?"
Garbledina glanced into the room. The bed was large enough for her, easily, and most of the amenities were convenient enough for her, those she'd make use of anyway. She shook her head. "Everything looks just fine," she replied, laying her jacket over a dresser before bending over to remove her pants, intentionally giving Spike an excellent view of her well formed rear and more as she undressed. Hearing him get even more flustered, she turned back to him as she lay her pants across her jacket. "Except maybe someone to help keep the bed warm," she added in a smoldering voice. "Care to volunteer?"
As Spike blushed brighter and gaped, struggling to make his mouth work, Garbledina laughed. "I'm just teasing you," she chuckled. "Garble said you were a runt, but he's wrong." She leaned over to rest her head against Spike's chest, hearing the beat of his heart...and another sound only audible to dragon hearing. "You're real big where it counts."
"Huh?" Spike asked in confusion.
"In here," she said, tapping his chest. "Your inner dragon is awake. And he's massive." She noticed Spike was even more confused. "I'll tell you more tomorrow." She slowly closed the door. "But I'm a bit tired after my long flight, so for now I'll get some rest."
Spike nodded. "Alright. I'll leave you to get some sleep, 'Dina."
Spike started to turn away, but Garbledina swung the door back open. "W...what did you just call me?"
Spike blinked in confusion. "Don't dragons have nicknames?" As she shook her head, he sighed. "It's just...Garble's associated with some rather bad memories...and nightmares. I know he's your brother, but I'd rather get to know you for you." He rubbed the back of his head. "Do...do you mind if I call you 'Dina?"
She looked at him for a time...and found herself blushing. "...please do. And...tell the others to as well."
He smiled. "Alright. Good night, 'Dina."
Smiling, she closed the door again. Just before shutting it, she gave him a sloe eyed wink. "Goodnight handsome."
She heard him getting flustered again as she shut the door. She curled up on the bed happily as she got ready to sleep. She wasn't sure why she was being so flirtatious with him, other than just how different he was from other males of her age group...how much better he was. But she knew one reason she was so happy right now. After a lifetime being Garble's sister - even from birth, being the unexpected twin just given a derived name - she would be meeting new people under a name that was entirely hers. She could finally start building herself up as her own dragon.
"Besides," she muttered under her breath, "Spike is just too cute when he gets flustered!"
With that last sentiment, 'Dina curled up and let herself drift off to sleep.