So Spike Sparkle would never follow in his older brother’s footsteps and become a military man. That was a certainty at the moment for the young boy as he dropped to the ground from the last pushup he was being forced to perform.
“That was… sad.” Rainbow Dash said, shaking her head.
“Rainbow! He’s trying, at least he didn’t give up twenty minutes ago when he said he was done.” Twilight Sparkle said, glaring at her newly titled girlfriend.
“Trying what? To make out with the ground? Did you see what I was seeing, Egghead?”
Spike watched as the two older girls bickered back and forth, his body so tired he couldn’t do anything but move his eyes.
“It’s okay, Spike, they’re always like this,” Scootaloo said as she kept doing more pushups in the time that Spike had fallen to the ground then he had done the whole day.
“H-how a-are y-you doing that?” Spike wheezed out.
She chuckled a little. “When I started out I was just like you. This is what training will do.”
“Scoots, you got energy to talk, you got energy to move. Show that boy how it’s done!” Rainbow shouted.
“Will you stop picking on him!” Twilight said as she swatted at the other girl’s shoulder.
“Ow, will you stop hitting me? He’s the one that wanted to come and work out with Scootaloo.” Rainbow said as she rubbed her shoulder in false pain.
“Yeah, I remember your training and tried to talk him out of it.”
“I remember that day too,” Rainbow said, smiling. “You covered from head to toe in sweat, your shirt sticking to your chest, barely able to catch your breath.”
“R-r-rainbow Dash! They’re right there!” Twilight stuttered, embarrassed as her cheeks lit up red.
“And? It’s not like these guys don’t know what—”
“Don’t finish that sentence unless you want to eat dirt.”
“I’d like to see you try, Sparkle. Of course if you want to go down with me, I wouldn’t be inclined to say n—”
Twilight silenced her the only way she knew how. With a kiss. Rainbow placed her hands around the small of the girl’s back, and pressed her closer. When they pulled apart she was smiling at Twilight. “Why don’t you join them, you know, for motivation.”
“You almost killed me last time.”
“I just wanted to see you sweat,” Rainbow whispered the words, seductively.
Spike smiled up at the two before glancing over at his friend. She had stopped her workout to stare up at her foster sister. The look in her eye one of starstruck obsession.
“Uh Scootaloo?” Spike asked, blinking back his surprise.
“What?” Scootaloo asked, squinting as if she was trying to figure out a math problem. What problem she was working, the young boy couldn’t figure out for himself.
“You like watching them?” Spike asked as his eyes took in the two girls kissing.
“No!” Scootaloo protested with a deep blush on her face.
“You so do,” Spike teased.
Scootaloo stood up, “You got energy to talk, you got energy to run. Get up, shut up, and start running. You’re the one with a girlfriend to protect after all.”
Spike’s smile faded as he did just that. The boy got to his feet and dusted off his shorts.
“Move weakling! And no that black eye isn’t getting you out of this!”
“Yes ma’am!” Spike said as he started to run around the track.
Rainbow pulled away and turned to watch Scootaloo bossing Spike around. Her sister never failed to impress her with her drive and determination. “Scoots told me what happened,” Dash said as she sat down on the bench behind her, patting the seat next to her for her girlfriend.
Twilight sat down as well. “You probably know more than I do. About Spike and Sweetie I mean.”
“How have things been going for him at home? It’s been a bad week as far as I heard.”
“Apparently it’s been a bad few years,” Twilight corrected. “He’s been part of our family all this time and we never really treated him as such, he was an accessory. I think his first day of middle school was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.”
“Twi, I don’t even know what that means. But it sounds bad. How are you dealing with it?”
“Don’t you mean to ask me how he’s dealing with it?”
“No, I mean you. He’s a strong kid, Twi. You of all people should know that.”
“Don’t Dash me, Twilight Sparkle.”
Twilight’s eyes shot up to stare at the determined look on Rainbow’s face. The fact that the usually laid-back sports player used her full name meant something serious was about to be talked about.
“Talk to me Egghead, don’t just let it sit.” Dash whispered, causing Twilight to frown.
Isn’t that what I told Spike?
When Rainbow wrapped her arm around her waist and pulled her closer to her, Twi sighed and rested her head on Rainbow’s shoulder. “I failed him. All the signs were there, I was just too blind to look.”
“Shush you,” Dash said as she rested her head upon Twilight’s. “You tried to be the best sister you could be.”
“I don’t know anything about being an older sister.”
“That makes two of us,” Rainbow said. laughing. “I don’t know how I became one myself, but I did.” Dash said as she watched Scootaloo keeping pace beside Spike.
“It’s different, Dash.” Twilight said. “Scoots looks up to you, you’re not really her sister, she still has a family that’s responsible for her.”
“So you’re saying I can’t be her sister because she doesn’t live with me?” Rainbow asked softly.
“No I’m saying that even if you screw up, you’re not the one responsible for her.”
“You’re wrong there, Sparkle. Sure she might have her own parents, but I’m still just as responsible for her as they are.”
“Rainbow, I don’t want to argue.”
“We aren’t arguing, and even if we were, it’s worth the argument, Twi. My point is is this, just because she’s not my blood sister or that no one else in the world acknowledges me as hers, our bond with each other still means something to us.”
“She’s my little sister, Twi. Just as Spike is your little brother. We’d do anything in the world for them, because we love them. We don’t want to see them hurt, or unhappy, but sometimes they will be. But as older siblings the best thing we can do is be there for them when they need us, and for them to know even when they don’t need us, we’re still there cheering them on.”
“I never imagined I’d be getting this amount of empathy from the Rainbow Dash.”
“Well get used to it Sparkle, cause I’d never leave you hanging. Especially when you need a good pep talk.”
“I don’t know about that… I don’t know how much mushy Dash I can handle.”
“Just admit you were wrong about me not knowing what it’s like and get over your pity party so we can actually talk.”
“Well, I mean… I…”
“Nope, I’m right you’re wrong, admit it.” Rainbow said, smiling.
“Fine, you’re right.”
“Score one, Dash!”
“Oh, we keeping score?”
Twi laughed at that. Dash replied by hugging her tighter. “So what’s been happening since that day? At home I mean.”
“I talked to Mom and Dad about it. They were as shocked as I was about the whole thing. They each talked to him in turn, with me by his side. And by talk, I mean they let him speak, without judgment, without saying a word. For the first time in five years, all we did was listen to him.” Tears fell down Twilight’s face as she admitted to that fact.
“That fixed everything?” Dash asked.
“No,” Twilight said. “Things don’t break in a day and they’re not fixed in a day. You know that. Mom still slips up from time to time. Dad’s still a little harsh with his jokes, but they’re trying. I see it, and so does Spike.”
“How about school?”
“I thought Scoots told you everything?” Twilight asked.
“About Spike and Sweetie,” Dash said with a smile. “Those two are hans— nevermind.”
“Dash,” Twilight scolded.
“Sorry, sister bond, can’t share,” Dash replied.
Twilight glared at her. “Things have gotten a little better there. Those bullies still give him some trouble, but it’s nowhere near as bad as it was his first day.”
“No more swirlies?”
“Apparently when your ring leader pisses himself at the sight or your target’s huge older brother, you tend to back off a little bit.”
“If they’re afraid of Shining, they should be afraid of what Scootaloo wanted to do after she learned about it. That girl’s got a sadistic side to her.”
“And that was in absolutely no way influenced by you?” Twilight asked.
“Guilty as charged, Egghead. I don’t see you running away though.”
“You’d catch me if I tried.”
“Everytime. You can bet on that.”
Twilight stuck her tongue out as Dash winked at her, unprepared for the other girl to assault her with another kiss. This one less appropriate for the younger children, for which the girls were glad they were far enough away not to notice.
“Spike, that was only two laps, get up and keep going!” Scootaloo’s shout caught their attention, but they still lingered for a few seconds, smiling at each other.
Twilight turned to watch their younger siblings. “C’mon Spike, you can do it! You want to build some muscle to impress Sweetie, don’t you‽”
Spike turned to her with wide eyes; but, without missing a beat, he forced himself to his feet and started running again.
“Sparkle?” Rainbow asked, confused.
“It’s as you said, our job as big sisters is to let them know that we’re always rooting for them.”