A Friend in Need
Applebloom trotted along side Spike as they made their way towards the library, a comfortable silence reigning between the two.
Spike coughed, ending the silence and started to speak. “So, how's it going?”
“Fine.” Applebloom shrugged, turning to face him. “Farm's runnin' smoothly, Little Missy stayed clean fer once an' AJ ain't gone on another sleep deprived rampage though town.”
“You're never going to let her live that down, are you?” Applebloom rolled her eyes.
“Once she let's tha Love Poison thin' go, Ah might consider it. 'til then, nope. What about you?” Spike smiled, letting his mind wander to yesterday.
“I'm good...I got to hang out with Rarity yesterday...” The filly, once again, rolled her eyes.
“Ah'm pretty sure Sweetie Belle was there too.” She pointed out.
“W-well...Sure, it's not like we'd blank her out or anything...” He said, blushing in embarrassment. “Besides, she'll be my sister too once me and Rarity are married.” He continued in a matter-of-fact tone.
“Rarity and I, and okay, Casanova, but don't ya think yer gettin' a little ahead o' yerself there?” She replied, causing Spike to fold his arms in defiance.
“You wouldn't understand! It's not like you've ever had feelings for anypony...” He shot back, noticing that her demeanour had shifted a little. He could even swear he saw a faint red tint to her cheeks. “Wait...Have you?”
“No!” She denied, looking away. Spike grinned.
“Yeah you have! Who is it?!” Applebloom swatted at him, annoyed.
“It's no one special!”
“So it is someone, who?”
“No, who is it?”
“Ah'm not sayin'!”
“Well I'm not stopping until you tell me~~” The purple dragon teased, to which Applebloom blew a raspberry at him.
“Well ma lips a sealed!”
“C'mon! You can trust me, you know about my crush on Rarity!”
“Everyone knows about yer crush on Rarity!” Spike rubbed his arm in embarrassment.
“That's beside the point.”
“Why do ya wanna know so badly?!” She asked, glaring at him. He just smiled, innocently.
“I just want to help you out. Give you someone you can talk to about it.” Applebloom huffed and continued forward, looking away from him. “C'mon...”
“Urg fine! It's that Wonderbolt, Rapidfire! Are ya happy?!” Spike rose an eyebrow at that.
“Um...Why Rapidfire? Don't most ponies like Soarin?”
“AJ got first dibs on him.” She answered, smirking. “Besides, I really like his mane...”
The two paused for a second, contemplating that statement, until Spike said. “I think you've spent too much time with Sweetie Belle.”
The two entered the library, only to duck as a book went sailing over their heads and out the door. They looked around the room, surprised to see it in such disarray.
Books were laying all over the room, some face down, some on their spines and others half open. Furniture had been tipped over, some book cases lying face down on the ground, Owlicious flying around, trying to find somewhere to land as his perch had been broken and scattered across the floor.
In the centre of it all, Twilight was trotting in a small circle, looking incredibly nervous about something. The two looked at each other, before nodding and walking over to her. “Uh...Twilight?” The dragon asked, causing the Alicorn to turn in surprise.
“Spike! What are you doing out of School?!” Spike rolled his eyes.
“Somepony New Day! You organised it!” He said, motioning to Applebloom. “I got paired with AB, now what's going on?”
“Oh...Nothing important...” Applebloom gave the Princess a deadpan expression.
“It's important enough ta turn yer home inta a pig sty, now what is it?”
Twilight sighed and went to sit on the couch. Her flank then made contact with the floor as she realised she had accidently flipped the couch over in her mad spree. “Well...I uh...I can't find my diary!”
Applebloom gasped dramatically but Spike just looked at her oddly. “So?”
“SO!” The two ponies yelled at him, causing him to jump in surprise.
“Spike! A girl's diary is one of tha most important things we have! We write everything in there! If'n tha wrong pony got their hooves on it, it'd be tha most embarrassing thing ever!” She then pressed her forehead against his, eyes wide and serious, causing him to flinch back. “EVER!”
“Alright! Sorry!” He said, pushing the filly away from him. He then turned to his 'sister' and asked. “Where did you last see it?”
“On the desk over there...And it's not so much a whole diary as a scroll. I filled my diary and I'm writing on paper until I buy a new book...” Spike looked over to the desk and froze, his eyes widening in fear.
“Um...I think I know where it is...” The purple Alicorn turned to her assistant and looked at him, excitedly.
“Great! Where is it?!” Spike grinned sheepishly and kicked his leg out, nervously.
“Uh...How angry would you be if I said I sent it to Princess Celestia?” Twilight's eye twitched, her body frozen in place.
Silence reigned supreme over the whole library for a second before Spike grunted and burped out a letter from the Princess herself. “Oh hey, you got a letter!” He said, opening to read.
“Dear Twilight. I was surprised to see a letter from you as I was sure you didn't need to send any more friendship reports and was quite stunned when you referred to me as Booklyn. The subjects in which you spoke to me were quite peculiar to say the least...”
Twilight was still frozen to the spot, unable to move as Spike continued to read the letter. Applebloom just decided to sit and listen, but had to ask.
“You called yer diary Booklyn?” Twilight's face became a little red as Spike continued.
“For starters, I wouldn't know what it'd be like if my hooves were suddenly turned into loaves of bread, but I imagine it'd make walking in the rain quite difficult. I talked with Luna about it, but she had to leave half way through because she was getting hungry.”
“Secondly, no I didn't think your dress for your brother's wedding made you look fat and I was kind of surprised you only mentioned this now. You have a great figure Twilight, you just have to have a little more confidence in yourself.”
“Thirdly, I'm sure you're being a little harsh on him. Sure he gets a little excited by Rarity, but I'd hardly call Spike's crush an obsession. Kids are just like that sometimes.” Spike looked up and glared at her for a bit. “Hey!”
Applebloom started laughing at that point while Twilight's face lit up a little bit more.
Spike looked back down on the page and decided to finish the letter. “Lastly, I know which guard you're talking about. His name is Flash Sentry and yes he is quite a looker, but the way you talked about him in your letter made Spike's crush seem very insignificant in comparrison.”
“Despite the...unusual letter it was good to hear from you again and I'd like it if you could try to write to me every so often and keep me updated in what you and your friends do. Your friend, Princess Celestia.” He finished, looking up with a grin. “So you have a crush on someone too?”
Twilight snapped out of her stupor and tried to find an intelligent response...But all she could come up with was: “Blegga reefing thatcher snirt!”
“...What?” Applebloom asked, confused by Twilight's response. Spike rolled up the letter and put it on the desk behind him, rolling his eyes.
“She gets like this when she can't think of something to say. She'll snap out of it soon.”
Twenty minutes later, Twilight finally managed to come up with a coherent sentence and made a rush for the door. “I have to go to Canterlot and get my diary entry back! Bye Spike!”
Startled, Spike tried to spot her. “Wait, Twilight! What about the...!” Spike was then run over and flattened on the ground as he tried to get in her way. He sighed as he heard the door slam behind him. “...Mess...”
Applebloom looked up from the book she was reading, tilting her head at Spike. “Where's Twilight goin'?”
“Canterlot...” He, with great difficulty, managed to pry himself up and off the ground. His spines had made a large hole in the wooden floor, to which he flinched at the sight of them. “Aw pony feathers!”
He then remembered who his company was and held a hand over his mouth. Applebloom rolled her eyes at him and made her way over. “Spike, Ah'm a farm filly. Ah've heard much worse from AJ and Granny.”
“Nah, he just sorta grunts. He don't talk much.” She then looked at the floor, bemused. “Aw c'mon, it ain't that bad.”
“Not that bad! It's a hole in the floor!” She glanced around, then turned back and gave him a deadpan expression.
“Ya have looked at tha rest of tha place, right?” He grunted and nodded.
“Yeah...And guess who has to clean this up?” Without waiting for a response, he continued. “Me, that's who! It really bugs me when she does this! I have to clean up after her ALL the time!” He said, picking up a couple of stray books, and putting them in a pile.
“This is why I never 'go out' that much! Because I always have work to do here! I thought that'd change when Twilight put me in school, but no! It's actually gotten worse since I have to do homework too! It sucks!”
Applebloom flinched a bit, feeling quite sorry for the dragon. It's true that homework does take a lot of time away from somepony, and she couldn't imagine it if she had to also work on the farm for the rest of the day and didn't get to see her friends. That'd suck! But this was just the story of Spike's life.
She began to pick up a few books and put them in a pile, just like Spike, surprising him a bit. She saw his look and smiled at him. “Don't ya worry, Spike! If'n we work together, we'll have this place cleaned up in no time!”
“...You want to help me?” He asked, shocked. Nopony had ever helped him clean up before. Twilight always just sat and read, not really paying attention to what was around her while he cleaned up after her and no-one else came round often enough.
“Why sure! It ain't fair that ya have ta do this by yerself an' Ah ain't jus' gonna sit here an' watch ya do that. Yer ma friend an' friends help each other when they can.” She said, looking at the hole in the ground. “Ya got any spare floor planks, Ah can git that replaced in a jiffy.”
Spike snapped out of it and smiled, thankful that, for once, his work might go by a little bit quicker. “Sure, I'll get one from the basement. Could you start picking up all the furniture while I go get it?” Applebloom nodded, nudging herself under a bookcase to push it back up and into place.
After about an hour of work, the two had managed to get the library looking as good as new. The bookshelves were standing again, the chairs and couch were upright once more and Owlicious was resting on top of his new perch.
Spike sighed with relief and flopped backwards onto the seat behind. “Thanks AB, that would've taken so much longer without your help.”
Applebloom grinned and flopped down on the couch next to him, turning to face. “No problem, as Ah said, it ain't fair that ya had ta do it by yerself.” She replied. “Besides, Ah enjoy fixin' an' buildin' things!”
The dragon rose an eyebrow at her. “You don't say. Do you think that could be your special talent?” Applebloom sighed, her bow drooping a bit to match her mood.
“Nah, it woulda appeared ages ago otherwise. Ah've been doin' lots a projects like that, rebuildin' tha clubhouse, fixin' the apple cart an' apple stand, repairin' roofs, all kinds of stuff!”
“...You've done a lot of repairing...”
Applebloom grinned a bit, sheepishly. “Ah tend ta break a lotta stuff...” Spike chuckled at that and sat up.
“Well, we still got the whole day! What did you want to do?”
Applebloom felt her stomach growl at her and she groaned. “Ow...Maybe we should git some lunch...Ah left in a hurry this mornin' so Ah forgot mah lunch an' didn't git breakfast.”
Spike got to his feet and helped Applebloom to her hooves. “Alright, I'll whip something up!” He declared, running to the kitchen.
He, however, ran into an obstacle as he opened the empty cupboards and the equally as empty fridge, managing to rustle up a mango and a packet of old spaghetti. “Uh...Mango spaghetti?” He asked, to which Applebloom shook her head.
“Wanna head over ta tha farm? Ah'm sure Big Mac an' AJ are just 'bout ready ta head in fer lunch.”
He looked at the two random ingredients and shrugged. “Sure. But after, can you help me go grocery shopping? I don't think Twilight would like mango spaghetti either.”
She smiled and picked up her saddlebags. “Of course! Let's go!”
“Well howdy Rainbow!” Applebloom smiled up at the tree just on the edge of the orchard outside the farmhouse. The Pegasus yelped, before glancing down to see the dragon and filly.
“Oh, hey squirts!” She replied, nervously. Had they caught her?
“Ya nappin' tha trees again?” Rainbow gave an internal sigh of relief. They didn't catch her.
“Yeah, you know! Just needed to chillax after a hard day kicking clouds!” She exclaimed, trying to keep calm. Spike and Applebloom glanced at each other, sharing an inquisitive look. Rainbow sounded a little...nervous.
“Well...If'n ya hungry Ah'm sure they'll be plenty o' food on tha table!” She said, cheerfully, causing Rainbow to glance around, trying to find an excuse out of it.
“Um..I'm not sure...”
“Aw, Ah'm sure AJ would like it if'n ya came round! Please!” Rainbow made the mistake of looking directly into the puppy-dog eyes of the filly and caved.
“S-sure...” As Rainbow was getting up to jump down, Applebloom sent a mischievous look towards a surprised Spike.
“Works every time...”
“Applebloom! What in tarnation are ya doin' outta school this early?!” Applejack exclaimed, seeing her younger sibling walk into the house with Spike and Rainbow trailing behind.
“It's Somepony New Day, so we got tha day off ta hang out with a pony we wouldn't normally. Ah got paired up with Spike. So we went ta tha library an' Twilight took off fer Canterlot, then we cleaned up tha mess an' here we are! We were hoping ta git some lunch an' Ah invited Rainbow, since she was nappin' in tha tree an' Ah figured she was hungry. Please?!” Applejack sighed and smiled to the group.
“Oh sure, why not. Just gotta tell Mac ta make some more stuff, have a seat at tha table.” The orange mare said, pausing to shoot Rainbow a smile. “An' it's good ta see ya Dash, Ah feel like Ah don't see ya round that often.” Rainbow laughed nervously, but just opted to say nothing.
The big red stallion stood in front of the stove as all the pans started up. He smiled at the three visitors, but decided to keep quiet. After all, they were his sister's guests. He didn't want to distract them from any conversations they were having previously.
After a few minutes he placed a pile of pancakes in the centre of the table with a fruit salad on the side. “Pancakes fer lunch?” Applebloom asked, confused. Applejack chuckled.
“Well yeah, we had a lot of pancake mix that looked like it might spoil soon, so we decided to eat them all before hoof.” She explained as Mac took a seat next to Rainbow, who shuffled away slightly. She rose an eyebrow at that, but said nothing.
Spike, however, saw the same thing and whispered to Applebloom. “Did you see that?”
Applebloom titled her head, before shaking it and grabbing Spike's hand. “Um...We're just goin' ta wash our hooves an' claws, we were cleanin' up some pretty nasty stuff!” Before any questions could be asked, she had dragged the dragon out of the kitchen and towards the bathroom.
Jut as they reached the door, she turned to Spike. “Now, what were ya tryin' ta say?” She asked. Spike now understood what she did, they were no longer in earshot of the others so they could speak freely.
“Well, I think Rainbow has a crush on Mac!” Applebloom tilted her head to the side.
“What makes ya say that?”
“Well she looked nervous when you invited her round and I think she was going to try and find a way out of it. And when Mac sat next to her, she shuffled away. Like she's scared to touch him or something.”
The yellow filly blinked and thought about it for a moment. It would explain why she rested in the apple trees rather than in the clouds. It's so the rainbow maned Pegasus could get a glimpse of her crush.
“Ah...guess that makes sense...” She then raised an eyebrow. “But why did ya need ta tell me now?”
“Well...I was just thinking that we could help...” Was as far as he got before a wide eyed, scared filly slapped a hoof over his mouth.
“No way! Not after tha last time Ah tried ta set mah brother up with somepony! Ah'm leavin' this one alone!” Spike looked like he was about to argue before he remembered how bad the damages to Ponyville were and how much trouble the Cutie Mark Crusaders gotten into after that love poison incident.
He sighed and relented, turning to go back to the dining table. “Fine...” Applebloom silently trotted next to him, feeling bad for shouting at him like that. Luckily they were far enough away that the ponies at the table couldn't hear them.
After a pretty uneventful lunch, Applebloom and Spike headed towards the market. Rainbow decided to stay and help out around the farm. Applejack and Mac thought she was just trying to help, but the filly and the dragon knew that the mare was just trying to impress the stallion.
“Alright, we'll need all the essentials...” Spike said, glancing back at Applebloom who had a her saddlebags, which held six apples from the farm. “We should get some potatoes, carrots, cabbage, milk, eggs and...well lots of other stuff...” He trailed off, only now just realising the extent of his task.
He sighed as the list of items he needs kept increasing and turned to face the filly. “Look AB, you don't have to help anymore if you don't want to. You already helped clean up the library and well...this job looks like it could take a couple of hours and...”
“Spike Ah don't mind!” Applebloom interrupted him. “Ah ain't jus' gonna sit on mah flank while you work yer tail off. It ain't fair to ya.”
“But it's not fair to you to have to help me! AB these are my chores, it's not your responsibility.” Spike argued back, not sure why she was fighting so hard to help him lug groceries around all day. “Why do you want to help me so badly anyway?”
“Cause yer mah friend, that's why! An' whether ya like it or not Ah ain't gonna let ya work yerself ragged!” She trotting off ahead to enter the market.
She then paused for a second, before playfully batting his nose with the tip of her tail. “Besides, the quicker this gets done the quicker we can finally play a game of some sort!” She smiled, before continuing on.
Spike had to fight the red off his cheeks, rubbing his nose where her tail hit despite it not being in pain. “Well okay...If you're sure...”
She glanced back, nodding happily. “Of course Ah'm sure now let's go!”
Applebloom grunted at the weight of the groceries bearing down on her, trotting through the doors of the library carefully. “Jeez, this is a lotta stuff!”
Spike grunted in agreement, dropping his two large carrier bags on the ground in front of him, closing the door behind him. “No kidding! This is the last time I let getting the groceries stay on the to do list...”
Applebloom dropped the bags off in the kitchen and searched through them to put them away. Starting with the stuff that needed to go in the freezer. Ice cream, frozen hay fries etc. “Well at least you an' Twilight will be eatin' tonight.” She responded, grinning.
“Yeah. If she comes home tonight. I imagine her trip to Canterlot may last longer than I'd hope.” He replied, dragging his bags filled with cheese, hay tarts, cabbages, radishes, onions and various other food items into the kitchen where his friend was.
After a few more minutes all of the items were put away except for two bowls of strawberry ice cream which they both started to eat at a ravenous pace.
“So does Twilight do his a lot?” Applebloom asked, starting to slow her pace as her new found started to pass.
“More times than I can count! But it's not all bad, sometimes I can get the day off if she doesn't destroy the place when she rushes out the door.” He answered, before brining another scoop of the cold goodness to his mouth.
“Sounds like, if ya weren't here, Twilight'd be more disorganised than most.” She grinned causing Spike to chuckle a bit.
“Yeah, it sure is ironic that the most organised mare in town is as messy as the cake twins!” He mentioned, finishing the last of his ice cream just as Applebloom finished hers off. “You want anymore?”
“Nah thanks, Ah'm full.” She replied, smiling. “Now what game are we gonna play?!”
“Uh...” The dragon said, pondering. He hasn't played with anypony a lot since he was usually doing chores. The only one he ever got to play was tag when he and Twilight met the Apple Family for the first time when they first came to Ponyville. “I don't know many games...”
“Oh! Ah got a fun one!” The yellow filly exclaimed excitedly, bouncing a little. “It's called Truth or Dare! All we do is ask tha other player truth or dare. If they pick truth, they hafta answer a question honestly whether they like it or not, if they pick dare they hafta do whatever tha other person says!”
Spike rose an eyebrow. “That sounds...interesting. Alright, truth or dare?”
Applebloom pondered the question for a bit before answering. “Truth, let's start off easy.”
“Alright...What 34 plus 45?” Applebloom blinked, before shaking her head.
“It's 79 an' Ah don't think ya got tha concept. Yer supposed ta ask them a personal question, not a random trivial question.” Spike had a look of understanding on his face, to which Applebloom sighed in relief. “Alright, now since ya didn't know any tha wiser Ah'll let ya ask a different question.”
“Thanks...Um...If you had to, which one of your friends would you punch?” Applebloom gasped.
“Spike that's awful, they're my friends!”
“So Scootaloo?” There was a pause for about five seconds before Applebloom sighed.
“Yeah but Ah don't know why.” She shook the thought from her head to ask the dreaded question. “Truth or dare Spike?”
“Truth.” He answered, not trusting this filly to give him a dare. This is a member of the Cutie Mark Crusaders for Celestia's sake!
“Alright then...Um...What do ya wanna do when ya grow up?” Spike looked startled, but pondered the question for a little bit.
“Um...Ur...I don't know. I just sort of assumed that I'd always be Twilight's assistant.” He answered, shrugging, causing her eyes to bug out a bit.
“What?! So ya have no dreams or anything?! Who knows. Maybe ya can set up a tailoring company, ya could become Mayor of Ponyville, ya could even be tha one who runs this library!” She exclaimed, looking right at the dragon. “Do ya really think yer gonna hafta follow Twilight yer whole life?”
“I...well...I actually kind of hope I have too...” He answered, rubbing the back of his neck. “Twilight and I have always been together, ever since I was hatched. She's the sister I never had and in some cases even a mother...I'd just be...lost without her...”
Applebloom noticed his demeanor and sighed a bit. “Ah can understand a bond like that, cause that's how Ah feel about AJ. Mah parents started travelling while Ah was still in diapers, so Mac and AJ brought me up...It was funny cause Ah thought THEY were mah mama an' papa before Ah knew any better...I just couldn't imagine what'd happen if they weren't there anymore.”
Spike smiled a bit, it seems as though the two of them had more things in common then originally thought. They both had a lack of parents but siblings they'd never give up for anything. “Well, if I had to answer, maybe running this library for Twilight once she's settled into her Princess duties would be kinda fun.”
“Yeah, then yer word here would be law! That'd be a lotta fun!” Applebloom agreed, happily.
“Okay then, my turn. Truth or dare...” Spike asked, continuing the game into the afternoon.
Night had rolled in as Twilight entered the library with her diary entry tucked neatly into her saddlebags as well as a new book to put that entry and new ones to come in there. “Spike! I'm back!” She called out, only to silence herself at the scene in front of her.
Both he and Applebloom had fallen asleep on the couch, Spike on the left side, his head resting on the arm rest, and Applebloom on the right, curled up in a small ball of yellow and red.
The Alicorn smiled at the scene and exited the library to head to Sweet Apple Acres to tell Applejack that her sister will be sleeping over and to get Applebloom's school things for the following morning.