• Published 20th Feb 2014
  • 15,076 Views, 148 Comments

An Assistant's Tale - Dreamscape

"He truly loved her and knew she loved him just as much. The dragon gulped deeply as a fluttering sensation occupied his stomach. He didn't just love Twilight as a friend."

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Part 1

Spike’s emerald eyes glared down at last few smudges on the floor beneath him. With a few swift arcs of the damp mop in his claws, the blemishes were smeared across the white surface before disappearing with a final pass. He blinked as he looked up and examined the pristine and gleaming plane around him, making sure he hadn’t missed even the smallest of imperfections. The floor’s owner was quite hard to satisfy.

“That should do it,” he yawned, the exhausting task beginning to take its toll.

The mare to whom he spoke turned from her latest sketch. Her bright red framed glasses rested upon her muzzle, contrasting against her fur which was even whiter than the perfect floor she now admired. “It looks absolutely marvelous, dear. It was quite kind of you to offer your assistance and for that, here you are,” a glowing blue aura surrounded her horn as she lifted an exceptionally large red gem from her desk. “I hope this is sufficient?”

“It’s more than sufficient,” Spike gulped, “but I…I…”

“What is it, darling?” she questioned, raising an eyebrow as his scaled cheeks grew red.

“Well…maybe it’s too much. Did I really earn it? I mean…I was thinking maybe…”

“The floors of Carousel Boutique now look stunning because of your help, of course you earned it, dear…but please go ahead, speak up,” she encouraged in a sweet tone.

“Well Rarity, maybe we could hang out sometime instead, just you and me.” The dragon’s eyes quickly returned to the gleaming floor and he clasped his claws tightly together in an attempt to find safety from the awaited answer.

The mare’s deep blue eyes widened at the suggestion and the room grew silent as she pondered a response. Spike cautiously returned his gaze to hers as she began. “Well…I’d love to my sweet little Spikey Wikey, but you know how busy I can be and I…have an order that needs to be shipped coming up soon. I’m afraid I don’t have the time. I’d rather you take the gem. You deserve every last bit of it.”

The dragon knew that this was just a nice way of rejecting him, something he had grown used to when dealing with Rarity. Something he had grown to despise. Instead of grasping the gem that fell into his claws, he wanted instead to hold his chest where it felt as though his heart had just been torn in two and then shredded to make sure it could never be repaired. He wondered why he still tried even though he knew what the outcome would be in every situation. As Rarity thanked him once more for his service, he wordlessly turned and made his way to the door. Her eyes traveled to it as it opened with a jingle and watched as the small dragon slipped through the passage he had made just wide enough for his body.

After noiselessly closing the door behind him, Spike gazed down at his clawed toes as they trudged across the dirt path towards his destination, the library. He wasn’t staring at the ground without reason. The tears filling his eyes blurred his vision before dripping down and patterning the soil beneath with dark spots. He sniffed as a small trail of clear snot made its way down his nose. A sense of self-hatred filled his mind, ashamed of how sensitive he could be. He then quickened his pace, fearful of what those that might see would think.

In a desperate attempt to make the saline liquid stop flowing, he wiped at the tears with the palms of his hands and suspiciously watched the many sets of colorful hooves appear and disappear from his vision. There was no need or want for him to look up, he had traveled this path many times and knew the streets of Ponyville by heart.

Letting out a sigh of what he thought was relief, Spike’s entire body seemed to sink in desperation as he quickly realized he still had to contend with the alicorn inside. She knew him better than Rarity, the other girls, or anypony in Ponyville. It was inevitable that she would see through any form of a smiling guise.

He decided to stop his sobbing the only he knew how. He turned his sorrow into rage and resentment. He paced back and forth before the door, his feet stomping against the ground beneath as he brooded over his entire situation with the lovely Rarity. He sniffled and used a claw to flick the last few tears from his eyes before glaring fiercely down at the gem he grasped. Its fiery red surface glimmered in the sun and he thought of how well it represented his current mindset.

All that the normally gorgeous gem could do was remind him of the many times he had been so ‘politely’ rejected by the mare of his dreams. The muscles in his arm tensed as he tightened his hold, imagining the gem cracking and then shattering to pieces. In reality, all that this caused was a sharp pain which shot up through his claw. He groaned achingly and hissed at the object before throwing it into a distant clump of bushes. This caused a ruckus of squawks and flapping blue wings as a group of songbirds escaped the plummeting stone. It may just have been a fit of blind rage, but at that moment he decided he never wanted to see that gem again or even receive another payment from the elegant, white mare.

In an attempt to calm himself, knowing his burning face was likely reflecting his mood just like the gem, he took in a deep breath and exhaled. It was something Twilight had taught him to do whenever panicked, angered, or worried. He then repeated the process, letting the air pour in to his lungs before gently expelling it back out with a soft, drawn out push.

Although he still felt on the verge of both a mental collapse and an emotional breakdown, he was sure he could hold it in long enough to pass by the caring mare and head up to his bed for a ‘nap.’ He approached the door with determination, giving a final deep breath as he pressed down on the latch of the handle and gently pulled the wooden door open.

“There you are, Spike!” Twilight exclaimed as she made her way to the door after hearing its familiar creak. “I’m really glad you’re back. To be honest, the library gets a bit lonely when I don’t have my number one assistant around,” she chuckled and gazed down at the dragon’s noticeably fake smile. She then raised a curious eyebrow as she noticed the glossy pink hue of his eyes. “Spike…did everything go okay at Rarity’s?”

“I-it went fine,” he mumbled in response, turning his head shamefully.

“You know you can tell me anything, right?” she assured with a comforting smile.

Spike tried his best to hold back the tears as they once again filled his eyes, causing his mouth to quiver painfully. All his emotions then suddenly burst outward in a loud, expelling sob as he quickly wrapped his arms around her neck and buried his face into her rounded chest.

An empathetic frown appeared on the mare’s face as she wrapped a caring hoof around him and pulled him closer. He thought of how childish his loud sobs were as his tears soaked into her fur, but there was seemingly nothing he could do to end it this time around.

“It’s okay, just let it all out,” she cooed, brushing her hoof against his spiny back. “What happened?”

Spike squeezed the alicorn’s neck tightly as his muffled sobs poured outwards. “A-after doing all that work…I…I asked Rarity if maybe she’d want to spend some time with me…j-just me and her … and she said no! She’s using me!”

“Now Spike, I’m sure she’s not using you. Rarity never takes help unnoticed. She did give you something for your help, right?”

“Y-yeah,” he sheepishly admitted, thinking about the magnificent gem.

“Don’t get me wrong though, I completely understand where you’re coming from,” she explained, tightening the embrace. “I know Rarity’s never admitted it, but I don’t think she feels that way about you. She’s just the type of pony that’s too sweet to hurt another’s feelings, especially those of a good friend like you. I’m sorry to tell you this, but I just feel like this has gone on for too long and you deserve to know…” She paused for a moment and gave the top of his head a loving nuzzle before realizing he wasn’t prepared to speak. “I know it was wrong of her to lead you on like that and I’m truly very sorry, but you have to understand that it’s just who Rarity is. She meant no harm by it. She was actually trying to cause less.”

Spike couldn’t help but smile through his tears at the pony’s soothing voice. It was if she always knew exactly what to say to make everything seem better and more understandable than it truly was. It wasn’t just her words that were comforting though, but her loving embrace which seemed even more caring and blissful than ever before. He couldn’t quite put his claw on it, but something seemed rather different about this hug, as if something had changed.

Twilight once again tightened her hold around his small body, causing him to expel a gasp of air as he thought. “You know what, Twilight,” he stated, pulling away from her chest and gazing up into her large violet eyes. “I’m done with Rarity. I’ve had enough…wasn’t like I was getting anywhere anyways,” he huffed.

Twilight’s lips formed into a smirk. “Even after all the hard work and time you’ve put into it?” He nodded his head without even the slightest reconsideration. “Well, I for one think it’s for the better,” she sighed in relief. She then smiled lightly as she finally lifted her hoof away from his back and placed it upon the floor with a small clunk. “I bet you’re getting hungry, aren’t you? It’s already passed your normal dinner time and it sounds like you’ve had a very long day. I think I have something that might cheer you up.”

He looked up curiously, rubbing a fisted claw against his eye. “What?”

“Well, a certain shipment arrived from Appleoosa today…a box of turquoise!”

“For me?” the dragon asked, greedily licking his lips.

“I certainly didn’t get them for myself,” she teased. “I know how much you love them and seeing that we haven’t been back to Appleoosa in quite a while, I know you haven’t had the chance to eat any more. Consider it a gift and a thanks for all the help you give around here.”

He gleefully wrapped his arms around her once more, causing her to gasp slightly in surprise before affectionately nuzzling a cheek against his own. Spike had seemingly never noticed how much she really cared for him until that exact moment, and then lost himself in a dream of the past. He thought of all the wonderful times that the two had spent together, worked together, talked, and played together when he was younger. He truly loved her and knew she loved him just as much. The dragon gulped deeply as a fluttering sensation occupied his stomach. He didn’t just love Twilight as a friend.

“I’m not used to seeing you this…loving,” Twilight commented, causing the dragon to realize the rather extended length of the hug.

He quickly dropped his arms to his sides and looked away with a nervous laugh. “You’re just…really great, Twilight. You do a lot for me.”

She responded with an appreciative smile as a light pink hue covered her cheeks. “It’s good to know that you’re getting to the age where you realize how much some ponies actually do for you.”

“I guess it’s just that-”

His soft mumbles were quickly interrupted by the intelligent alicorn. “That you took me for granted?” Spike responded with a fast nod, his cheeks turning the same color as her own.

Twilight’s ears perked up and she let out a chuckle as she heard a grumbling in the dragon’s empty stomach. “Come on,” she stated, motioning her head in the direction of the kitchen. “I’ll get you some turquoise.”

“You don’t have to do that. I can get it myself, you know,” he explained, following closely behind her.

“Well, there’s not really much to it. All I have to do is put it in a bowl,” the pony laughed.

“Then I’ll help you with your food,” he quickly added.

The pony before him came to a sudden halt and gazed back at him curiously. She inspected his face for another false façade, but the small dragon seemed as sincere as ever. “Wow…of course you can. Thanks, Spike!” she exclaimed, returning to her previous gait after finding nothing.

Reaching the kitchen, Twilight watched in amusement as her assistant clambered about it. He grabbed a bowl from the cabinet and rushed to the fridge where he filled it with a modest assortment of leaves and greens. He then set the bowl on the counter before returning to the open fridge for plethora of vegetables which he placed next to it.

From a cabinet beneath the counter, he took out a well-used cutting board, the many scrapes, cuts, and gouges easily seen on its surface. Atop it he placed a bright carrot and carefully sliced it into small orange coins. The mare couldn’t help but smile as she watched, thinking that only a few years ago, she would’ve had to inform him to be very careful with such a sharp object. Although the dragon hadn’t grown much in size, he had certainly matured since then. Using her magic to effortlessly pull another bowl from the cabinet and then fill it from the small crate of turquoise sitting atop the dining table, she continued her role as a spectator.

“Need any help?” she finally offered.

“Nah, I got it. Just sit back and relax.” She sighed contently and followed his advice, not used to being treated with such service, especially from him.

If the extra accommodating assistant hadn’t been turned away from her, she could have easily seen his still glowing red cheeks. Still in state of disbelief and lost in his thoughts, he barely even noticed the juicy cucumber which he now sliced. He wondered why, after all these years, he had never felt this way. Why he had never realized that the mare of his dreams had been right there in front of him. Who needed Rarity when he had Twilight?

Spike shook himself, realizing he had completed the task. He sprinkled the colorful array of freshly chopped vegetables upon the bed of leaves and garnished them with a handful of beautifully simple white daisy heads. His heart pounded noisily against his chest as he placed the meal before her.

“Wow Spike, this looks fantastic!” she exclaimed as the dragon seated himself across from her. “Thanks!”

He nodded his head and smiled, sure she had noticed his positively glowing red cheeks by this point. He seemed quite surprised when nothing was said and instead the magical aura of her horn wrapped around a bite of leaf, vegetable, and daisy. He thought it was quite possible that she was ignoring it on purpose. Who am I kidding? With my luck, she probably feels just the same as Rarity.

“It tastes fantastic too,” she sighed after taking a small nibble. “A salad is just what I needed.”

His situation with Rarity may have hurt, but giving up so easily wasn’t a possibility for the romantically strong headed dragon. He eyeballed the mare with adoration as she continued her meal, her face was that of concentration rather than pleasure. Although for Twilight, thought was what brought her pleasure and Spike knew this very well. A smile formed on his face, causing his longer fangs to protrude as he wondered what was going through her head.

Noticing his gaze from the corner of her eye she looked up with a teasing smirk. “Aren’t you going to eat?”

“Uh…yeah,” he muttered, turning to the bright bluish-green stones beneath him. He picked one up and examined its glossy surface, broken with the occasional gray crack and then placed it in his mouth, easily shattering it between his fangs. After gulping it down, he quickly filled the empty void of his maw by setting another rock in its place and resuming the process. “Mmm….these are…great…Twilight…it was really sweet of you to…get them,” he spurted out as he thrust stone after stone into his mouth.

“Glad to hear it,” she chuckled, observing the ever-lessening pile of turquoise.

“I hope it…didn’t cost…too much to…ship these…all the way from…Appleoosa.”

“Not too much at all and besides, you deserve every last bit that I spent,” she explained before lifting another crisp bite of her own meal to her mouth.

“Mmm, well thanks, Twilight,” he mumbled before lifting the nearly emptied bowl to his gaping mouth and pouring the rest of the delectable treats in. Twilight rolled her eyes at the sight, delicately chewing another bite.