• Published 2nd Mar 2015
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Lightning Struck Home - MyHobby



Winter falls on Ponyville, leaving Spike to cope with a recent tragedy alone. While nightmares darken his sleep, Apple Bloom offers a bit of light. Will he step into that light, or allow fear to devour him?

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The Aftermath

First Contact

The wind roared outside Carousel Boutique, Ponyville Branch. Sweetie Belle, on the other hoof, was warm and cozy within her combined home and store. She alternated between checking her soup and adjusting her latest design, scurrying between rooms every few minutes. Spring was on its way, and with it a whole new season of fashion. Also on their way were the other two thirds of the former Cutie Mark Crusaders. Though they rarely entertained ideas of high society, Sweetie Belle was there to make sure they had the occasional taste of class.

Thus, the candlelit formal dinner she had invited them to.

The soup was boiling nicely and smelled divine, even if she said so herself. She rested her frameless glasses on the countertop and looked in the small mirror she had set up. She scrunched her muzzle and stared forlornly at the container of contact lenses she had ordered for a special occasion. She levitated a tiny lens and glared at it. “What shall it be, compatriot? Are you in or out?”

The emotionless contact lens had nothing to say.

Sweetie held her eye open with two hooves while she inched the darn thing closer and closer to the surface of her eye. She hit it wrong, eliciting a painful sting. It wasn’t until her third try that she managed to firmly plant it in its assigned place. She blinked rapidly to get her tears flowing.

“Yech. This is why I wear glasses.”

A hoof rapped the door in desperation. Sweetie Belle’s head bobbed up, her eyes wide. “Dang!” She checked the clock. “Dang!” She looked down at the second contact lens, as yet unapplied. “Dang, dang!”

Her blue dress swirled around her legs as she rushed from the kitchen to the entryway, the showroom of her boutique. She clasped a silvery necklace and reached for the door, careful to stand out of the way of the snowstorm outside.

Scootaloo, covered head to hoof in snow, tumbled through the opening. She kissed the ground passionately. “Yes! Yes, I am alive! I’m alive!”

“Oh hush.” Sweetie Belle subconsciously squinted one eye in an attempt to focus it. “It’s not even that bad out.” She picked up a towel from across the room. “Let’s get you cleaned up—”

“Gotcha covered,” Scootaloo said. She spread her wings, sucked in a deep breath, and allowed her magic to grasp the individual particles of snow. She rolled them into a ball and chucked the debris outside. She twirled in midair and freed herself from her winter coat, revealing the lavender dress underneath. “Thank yew, thank yew. I’m here all week. You’ve been a wonderful audience.”

Sweetie Belle kicked the door shut. “You’re so full of cheese.”

Scootaloo glided down on purple wings, mismatched from the orange of the rest of her body. She chucked Sweetie’s chin. “So full of cheese that life’s a breeze. And if you please, would you take these?”

Sweetie rolled her eyes, but hung her friend’s coat on a rack all the same. “You’re early.”

“Sorry.” Scootaloo walked sideways, facing Sweetie as the two of them headed for the kitchen. “I just wanted to see if I could help.”

“I, as the hostess, am obligated to treat my guests, not the other way around.” Sweetie stirred the soup, giving it a small taste before adding a pinch of spice. “Call me crazy, but I don’t like either ‘fashionably late’ or ‘early.’”

Scootaloo hovered in the air. The beaded skirt of her dress jangled as she moved. “Like it or not, I’m here, Sweetie. So that means I get to he—”

“Nope.” Sweetie nudged her in the chest. “You’re early, so you get to sit at that table and do nothing until the other guest arrives.”

Scootaloo plopped into her chair, her eyebrows low. She pursed her lips and took a moment to admire her reflection in a spoon. “Yeah, I clean up nicely.”

“Your ego is nearing Rainbow Dash proportions,” Sweetie said. “Be careful you don’t outgrow your own head.”

“I’m just enjoying life to the fullest!” Scootaloo leaned her elbow on the table. “You should try it sometime. It’s nice.”

“Ah, but I thought I was doing that already.” Sweetie smirked. “Successful fashion designer and a burgeoning music career? What could be better?”

“I dunno.” Scootaloo tilted her head. “What could?”

Sweetie looped earrings through the bottoms of her ears. “Friends who arrive on time.”

“Touché.” Scootaloo rubbed her eye. “I’m serious, though. Your frowns are winning the battle to overtake your face.”

Sweetie Belle frowned before she knew what she was doing. Her ear twitched as she forcefully pulled her lips back in a smile. “Is this better?”

“It’s scary, is what it is.” Scootaloo leaned back, her wings flared. “If your goal is to terrify small foals, I’d call it a rousing success.”

Sweetie Belle flicked her tail and turned away. “There’s no pleasing you, is there?”

Scootaloo tapped her hooves together. “Kinda hard to make others happy when you’re not happy.”

“I am happy.” Sweetie grabbed a sewing needle and set about stitching a new addition onto her new dress. “I’m as happy as I darn well please.”

Scootaloo caught a glimmer on the counter. “What’s with the contact lenses?”

“Oh, shoot!” Sweetie Belle hurried over to the mirror. “I can’t very well spend the whole evening with only one—”

A hoof knocked at the door in concert with the rattling windows.

Sweetie glared daggers at the clock. She stomped out of the room, leaving the lenses behind. “I’m buying you both egg timers for Hearth’s Warming!”

Apple Bloom stood on the front porch, shivering in the cold. “Hay, Sweetie Belle. Just wanted to see if ah could help o—”

“Get in.” Sweetie ducked to the side. “Scootaloo’s already here. Welcome to Chateau Belle, enjoy your stay, yadda, yadda.”

Apple Bloom pulled off her overcoat and shook her amber dress free. “Did ah miss somethin’?”

“Hay, AB,” Scootaloo said. “Come join me at the time-out table. It’s for naughty fillies who arrive to parties early.”

“You’re incorrigible.” Sweetie Belle bustled past Apple Bloom, but not before adding a scrap of fabric to the ponnequin sitting in the middle of the showroom floor. “Since you two are here”—she gritted her teeth—“twenty minutes ahead of time, we might as well get started on the sensible conversation.”

Oui, magnifique,” Scootaloo chuckled. “So what’s new with you, Apple Bloom?”

“Um…” Apple Bloom took a seat. She towered over both the table and the short pegasus sitting across from her. “Ah kinda… took your advice.”

Sweetie Belle’s blood ran cold. “You took advice from Scootaloo?” She turned her one wide eye and one narrow eye on the earth pony mare. “What sort of advice?”

“Uh, yeah…” Scootaloo folded her wings tight against her back. “Not that I ain’t a fountain of wisdom, but… well, I ain’t. What did you do?”

“Like you said.” Apple Bloom swallowed hard. “I went right up to Spike, told him what I thought, and kissed him smack dab on the lips.”

There was silence in the kitchen, save for the boiling of the pot.

“That… is… awesome!” Scootaloo spread her wings wide. “I knew you could do it, AB!”

“Wait a minute…” Sweetie Belle waved her legs in front of her face. “Wait, can we rewind to the part where you like Sp—?” She fought down the wave of confusion boiling up in her stomach. “Spike?

Apple Bloom shrugged. “Well, it all started back when ah—”

“No, no, hold up.” Sweetie rolled a hoof. “Let’s rewind to the part where you went to Scootaloo, for relationship advice.”

Apple Bloom crossed her forelegs. “She’s the only one outta us who’s ever gone steady.”

Scootaloo gave them both a sage nod.

“Alrighty, then.” Sweetie Belle blew a tiny breath between her lips. “You do know… you do know that Spike is a dragon, right?”

“Believe you me,” Apple Bloom said, “that much is painfully apparent.”

“I never took you for the… cross-species type.” Sweetie fidgeted with the hem of her dress. “It’s not… it’s…”

“Aw, come on, now.” Apple Bloom thumped the table, jingling the dishes. “You can’t tell me that if Spike was a pony, you wouldn’t be all over him.”

“I don’t really think it’s that—” Still, Sweetie Belle envisioned Spike as a pony. She saw muscular legs, tall stature, shining eyes, a wonderful smile, a chivalrous attitude, a royal purple coat…

The stove seemed to be much warmer, now that she thought about it.

“Um.” Scootaloo looked away, her cheeks purple. “He’s no Rumble.”

“Now you’re seein’ it.” Apple Bloom slumped down until her chin touched the tablecloth. “But you’re right about the whole ‘dragon’ thing bein’ a problem. He’s downright afraid of hurtin’ me.”

“So he does like you back.” Scootaloo’s eyebrows danced.

“Well, yeah, he said as much.” Apple Bloom covered her eyes with a limp foreleg. “Ah dunno what to do.”

Scootaloo tapped her chin. “So is he afraid of hurting you physically, emotionally, or—”

“He accidently smashed a table into tiny bits by bumpin’ it with his fist,” Apple Bloom said.

Sweetie’s ears stood straight up. “That would put a damper on the evening.”

“No kiddin’?” Apple Bloom sat up and adjusted the top of her dress. “It’s like… No matter how close we could get emotionally, there would always be somethin’… between us. Physically.”

Scootaloo frowned. She pushed herself away from the table and came to lay a hoof on Apple Bloom’s back. “You know, it’s kinda like what’s gonna happen to me and Rumble. He’s gonna be going to guard training, soon.”

Apple Bloom nuzzled her friend’s cheek. “That’s right. When’s he leave?”

“Spring. When a young pony’s fancy turns to thoughts of love. Nothing too terrible.” Scootaloo gave her a halfhearted smile. “But, you know, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. In the mouth. And stuff.”

She rubbed a hoof across her foreleg. “But that’s the thing. We’re gonna be apart, but we’ll find a way to make it work. That’s sorta my thing. Nothing is impossible. And I think it’s the same way for you.”

Apple Bloom grinned at Sweetie Belle. “An’ you wonder why ah went to her for advice?”

“Alright, so Scootaloo has occasional moments of clarity.” Sweetie winked at the pegasus. “The question is, does she have an answer to the conundrum?”

“Well, no…” Scootaloo fluttered the tips of her wings. “I was just gonna have a good old ‘fight it out and don’t let up’ encouragement ready.”

“Oh, good.” Sweetie Belle sampled the soup. “I was wondering where I was going to glean my daily supply of platitudes.”

“Oh, put a sock in it.”

“Fillies,” Apple Bloom said, “restrain yourselves.”

Scootaloo draped her foreleg over the back of her chair. “Restrain myself, huh?”

“Indeed you are correct, Apple Bloom.” Sweetie Belle sucked in a deep breath as she carried three bowls to the pot on a current of magic. “A lady does not stoop to veiled insults and backhanded remarks. I apologize, Scootaloo.”

“Yee…” Scootaloo folded her wings neatly across her back. “All is forgiven. And I’m sorry for not having a solution. But it’s like, nothing worth doing is easy, is what I keep hearing.”

“It’s what you keep saying,” Apple Bloom murmured. “And ah’m startin’ to think it’s true.”

Sweetie Belle set the three soup bowls before their assigned seats. A moment later, she took her own, completing the arrangement. “Transformation wouldn’t work out, then?”

“Ah can’t rightly think of—” Apple Bloom raised an eyebrow as high as it would go. “Come again?”

“Transformation.” Sweetie Belle squinted her eye to focus on lifting her spoon. “Transmogrification, transmutation, metamorphosis, it’s an entire field of magic study. I haven’t bothered to look into it for obvious reasons, but—”

“But it could totally turn Spike into a pony!” Scootaloo shouted. When her friends’ heads snapped around at her outburst, she took it as a sign to continue. “Duh. Twilight spent a whole year studying that field. She’s got to know a thing or two. At least if it’s even possible.”

“Be forewarned of the definition of transmogrification.” Sweetie Belle shuddered, causing her earrings to clang musically. “It includes the words ‘horrific’ and ‘grotesque results.’ It’s not magic that you want to play with willy-nilly.”

“But it is magic that you want to look into.” Scootaloo rubbed her hooves together and cackled. “It’s a love! A love!”

“It’s a crush at this exact moment,” Apple Bloom said. She took a dainty sip of her soup. “An’ ah don’t feel right askin’ Spike to give up part of who he is to be with me. Ah figure there’s a reason he was born a dragon.”

“You should at least speak with Princess Sparkle about it.” Sweetie Belle pointed her spoon. “She’ll help you gauge the risk involved, at the very least. And if you do gain a deeper relationship with Spike…” She let a lavender curl fall over her muzzle to obscure her small smile. “You’ll be family.”

Apple Bloom choked on her most recent mouthful. “Wha—?”

“Princess Apple Bloom Apple of the Ponyville Apples.” Scootaloo pushed her chair back to give a sweeping bow. “It suits you.”

Apple Bloom snickered. She held a foreleg out and raised her nose to the sky. “You have Our permission to kiss the royal hooves.”

“Oh, thank you, Most Magnanimous Magnificence!” Scootaloo took the offered hoof and made monkey lips at it. “Mwa! Mwa! Mwa!”

Sweetie Belle heaved a great, all-encompassing sigh. She leaned both elbows on the table and rested her forehead in her hooves. “So much for the sensible conversation.”

“On the bright side,” Apple Bloom said, “this is th’ most refined an’ dignified ah’ve ever seen Scoots.”

Scootaloo dropped the royal hoof. “I choose to take that as a compliment.”

Apple Bloom laughed. She gave Sweetie Belle a double-take. “Hay, why’re you squintin’ like that? Got sommat in your eye?”

Sweetie Belle threw the contact lenses out the door.

***

Pack Up Your Troubles

Button Mash scurried around his room, setting out chips and sampling the dip. A shock ran from head to tailtip as a startling realization made itself known. “Dang, dang, dang, dang, dangit! They’re gonna be here any minute!” He chewed on the tip of his hoof and took stock of the situation. “Ch-chips chipped. Dip dipped. Couch pillows fluffed. Magiscreen booted up. Five different gaming systems plugged in. Thirty multiplayer games available and sorted to assumed levels of enjoyability.”

He thumped his forehead. “I know I’m forgetting something. I just know I forgot something important. I—”

“Button?” his mother called from upstairs, “there’s ponies at the door looking for you.”

“I forgot to greet them at the door!” Button yelped. “I’m such a terrible host tonight is gonna go horribly I can’t remember my passwords!”

He sucked in a deep breath that filled his lungs to their bursting point. He held that breath until his face went blue, then let it out in a violent whoosh. “Okay. Okay, I can make this work. All I gotta do is—”

“Hay, Button,” Rumble said as he walked down the staircase that led into Button’s room. “Nice place you got here.”

Aaaah!” Button screeched. “Don’t scare me like that!”

Rumble froze in midstep, his eyes wide. He cautiously opened his mouth. “Okaaay…

“Sorry, sorry, welcome to Casa de Button. Or whatever.” Button Mash went through his options. He could ask Rumble how his day had been. He could invite him to eat chips or try the homemade dip he’d put together. He could turn on the games.

He could offer all the options at the same time and overwhelm both himself and his guest. That seemed like the best option. Sure.

“How about some chips did you see that storm how’s the dip which game do you wanna play first I got all four Maniacal Melees—”

“Dude.” Rumble placed a hoof over Button’s mouth.

“Mm hmm?” Button Mash said.

“Chill.”

“M’kay.”

Button slumped to his rear legs. “S-sorry. This is, just, my first time throwing any kinda party. At all.”

“Hay, that’s fine.” Rumble hoisted Button to his feet with a single strong foreleg. “You can relax. We’re all here to have a good time.”

“But what if you don’t have a good time and it’s all my fault!” Button grabbed the tips of his ears. “What if you never want to come back?

Rumble consumed an entire chip towering with spicy taco dip in a single bite. “Then more dip for the smart guys who stick around. You made this stuff?”

“Uh. Yeah. My dad taught me all the family recipes.” Button blushed behind a smile. “T-turns out jalapeno juice flows through our veins.”

Rumble snorted and almost choked on a bean. “Awesome. The other guys better hope they get here quick, or I’m eating it all.”

“Feel free. I got extra.” The creaking of wooden steps drew Button’s ears. “Aha. More ponies I didn’t greet at the door.”

“Not a pony,” Spike said, bending over to see past the basement ceiling, “but close enough.”

“Great to see you made it, bro!” Rumble soared through the air to trade a hoofbump with the dragon. “We’ll make you a socialite yet!”

Spike finished descending the stairs and cast his gaze around the room. He gave a low whistle. “Not bad.”

The couch was wide enough for several ponies and stuffed with an obnoxious amount of pillows. The Magiscreen was a wide-screen, ultra-detailed edition. Tables were set against the walls with various hors d'oeuvres littering their surfaces. Pictures of Button’s family dotted the walls alongside images of various fictional heroes. Carpet covered what would have been a cold cement floor, and dividers were set up as walls between the living area and Button’s bed.

Rumble jutted out his lower lip in appraisal. “I’ll bet it took all your paychecks from the cinema to pay for this stuff.”

“And how,” Button said. “Got a few nice deals, got a little gold squirreled away, but yeah. Stuff is expensive.”

Spike got closer to one shelf. It had a row of ponies on it, carved from wood and painstakingly painted. He pointed a clawtip. “Action figures?”

Button Mash looked up from going through his game selection for the fiftieth time. His eyes widened and his mouth settled into a grin. “Nah. Pull one down and take a closer look.”

Spike reached up, but halted just before touching them. “Um…”

“They’ve been handled by rougher things than a dragon.” Button smoothed down his spiky mane, which promptly jumped back up. “Trust me. The Cake kids got a hold of Jude and Punchy one time.”

Spike took the wood pony in his claws. He lowered it to his eye level to find joints along the legs, at the tail and neck, and one loose hinge for the mouth.

Button Mash attached a cross-shaped piece of wood to his hoof and held it up. “Watch the magic happen.”

The wood pony glowed, and an instant later began to dance in Spike’s hands. The dragon jumped and nearly dropped it. “Holy—!”

“Puppets?” Rumble hovered behind Spike’s shoulder. “You do puppets?”

“Marionettes mostly.” Button guided the puppet to move as if it was talking. The mouth flopped open and closed in near-perfect timing. “It’s how I got my cutie mark. I plan to go into it full-time when I get the chance.”

“Really?” Spike looked at Button’s flank to get a better look at the black plus-sign shape. “I thought it was… um…” He flicked his eyes to the game systems.

“A cutie mark for video games?” Button Mash snickered. “Yeah, no. I suck at them. Doesn’t mean they aren’t fun.”

Rumble chuckled and settled down on the couch. “Says the guy with every high score in the arcade.”

“That’s where the other half of my paychecks went.” Button Mash grimaced. “Mister Red Pixel used to call me ‘One Up’ because I’d bring a hundred coins every time.”

“False humility is still humility. Only, you know, false.” Spike sampled the dip with relish. “Good stuff.”

“I’d say we have enough guys so far for a multiplayer match.” Rumble picked up a controller. “What do you say, Spike? Care to test your mettle in Go-Cart Apocalypse 3?”

Spike looked at his hands. He looked to the tiny, plastic controller. “Um…”

“I’ve got spares if you break one.” Button Mash sucked his cheeks in. “Just, um, try not to break one.”

“It’s not just that.” Spike tapped his clawtips together. “I’ve never played a video game before.”

What?” Button and Rumble shouted simultaneously. “How?

“Royal duties,” Spike said, counting down on his hands, “living with a bookaholic who wouldn’t even watch movies until convinced by her friends, constant research projects, and expensive gemstones to snack on…” He swung his tail in a lazy arc. “Neither the time nor the bits.”

“Buddy.” Rumble fluttered up to Spike and took hold of his hands. “Buddy, we will fix this thing for you. You don’t have to live in the dark any longer.”

Button peered over the back of the couch. A tear dripped down his cheek. “It’s so sad to see a childhood missed.”

Spike blinked.

Rumble and Button were able to hold serious faces for about one more second before crumbling in laughter. Rumble lay his foreleg across Spike’s shoulders and led him to the couch. “No big deal, Spike. Butt—hehehehe—Button Mash, what’s a good first game to cut Spike’s eyeteeth on?”

Button shuffled through his options. “Wouldn’t it be an egg tooth for a dragon?”

“Don’t bring up egg teeth to somebody actually born from an egg,” Spike muttered.

Rumble shoved a controller into his hands. “Just focus, and maybe we can make you a force to be reckoned with by the time Pipsqueak, Snips, and Featherweight get here.”

“Unlikely.” A chuckle rose from deep within Spike’s chest. “Man, what am I gonna do when you’re gone?”

Rumble brought his wings back in a shrug. “How the sun and moon manage to rise without my direct intervention, I’ll never know.”

Button flipped the switch on his vintage Altai 2600. Two white lines sat on either side of the screen. He rubbed his chin. “Hay. That’s right. You’re gonna head off to Guard training pretty soon, aren’t you?”

“Soon as winter’s wrapped up.” Rumble spread his wings and puffed his chest out. “I’m going to be using the same facilities they use for the Wonderbolts Reserves Tryouts.”

Spike scratched his elbow. He pushed a button, but the white lines on the screen didn’t move. “Then all you gotta do is survive Basic.”

“If you can find a sergeant scarier than living with Cloudkicker, I’d love to compare notes.” Rumble’s tail fidgeted behind his back. “I’m not looking forward to having my head chewed off, but this is important to me. I’ll be making a real difference, you know?”

Spike nodded as he grabbed the joystick Button handed to him. “You looking to take over my big bros’ old job?”

“Captain of the Guard? Heck no!” Rumble took the other joystick and leveled his determined glare at the screen. “I’ll be happy if I hit centurion before I’m forty.”

Spike wiggled his controller. The white bar on his side of the screen rolled upward. “What’s this?”

“It’s called Ping.” Button took a moment to remove a chip from existence. “You know, like Ping Pong? The line is your paddle, and you gotta keep the ball from getting past you.”

A dot appeared on the screen, sliding under Spike’s paddle. He jerked his joystick down just in time to intercept. The ball bounced towards Rumble, who batted it back easily. Spike moved upward to catch it, but was an instant too late.

“Huh.” Spike looked the controller over. “Must be broken.”

“No, it’s surprisingly pristine for a fifty-year-old system.” Button leaned over the back of the couch, placing his head between Rumble’s and Spike’s. “I think the paddle was designed to be that slow. You gotta keep it moving to match the ball.”

“It’s a surprisingly tactical game,” Rumble said.

Spike squinted. “Alright, then. Full speed ahead, Captain. And darn the torpedoes.”

The second set ended much as the first did.

Spike glanced at his claws. “You would think I’d have better hoof-eye coordination.”

“But you don’t have hooves,” Button said.

“True.” Spike leaned forward. “One more match, though. Maybe I can finally get this.”

He didn’t.

“You know,” Button Mash said, “maybe ancient games aren’t your thing.”

“Don’t worry about it.” Rumble chucked Spike’s shoulder. “We’ll find something that you’re good at. Or at least that you like.”

Spike set his controller gently on the cushion beside him. “Fair enough. I think I’ll spend a little time attacking the dip first. You guys go ahead.”

Rumble tilted his head in a sort of nod, but not quite. Button Mash unplugged the Altai and hooked up the Famicolt 64. A moment later, they had selected their characters and jumped into a versus game of Golden Pie 64.

“So, Spike, since it’s just the three of us,” Rumble said, blasting Button’s character without mercy, “I wanted to know if you’ve heard the rumors.”

“Rumors?” Spike swallowed his mouthful. “What sort of rumors?”

“Oh, the ones about him and Appl—” Button Mash cleared his throat and jumped as far away from Rumble’s gunfire as possible. “Well, maybe you’d better—”

“Me and Apple Bloom?” Spike rested a hand against the couch back. “Again, what rumors?”

“That she spent the night at your place last week.” Rumble took his eyes off the screen to see Spike’s face wrinkle a touch. “I heard it from Cloudkicker, who heard it from Thunderlane, who heard it from Raindrops, who heard it from Mister Scuttlebutt, who heard it from Merry Mare, who heard it from some unidentifiable source.”

“She did spend the night,” Spike grumbled. “Otherwise she would have frozen in the storm. Nice to see the Ponyville Gossip Machine is still operating at full capacity.”

Rumble tapped his controller more rapidly than was necessary. “Well, somewhere along the line, spending the night turned into spent the night. Um, as a euphemism.”

“Wow,” Button said as his character died. “That’s nowhere near anybody’s business.”

“No, but it’s the hot topic around town.” Rumble scurried to the best hiding place in the level and waited. “So I was thinking that I could send a couple of counter-rumors rolling through the system—”

“Look.” Spike’s tail thrashed behind him. “I don’t want to fight a rumor like that. If people have a problem, they can talk to me about it. That’s what they’re supposed to do. None of that underhanded business.”

“It’s not underhanded if it’s the truth, is it?” Rumble paid no attention as his character was vaporized by Button’s time bomb. “We can’t just let ponies besmirch your honor like that.”

Spike bared his fangs. “I prefer the direct approach.”

Rumble wrinkled his nose. “What about Apple Bloom? We can’t just do nothing.”

“And I won’t.” Spike crossed his forearms and let out a sigh. “I’m gonna talk with Applejack and hope I get to her before the rumors do. Hopefully it’ll at least ease the minds of the ponies that matter.”

Button Mash nailed Rumble with a headshot. “Is that before or after you tell Bloom about it?”

Spike held a finger up and snapped it. “Good point. After. We’ll have to talk to make sure we don’t get our wires crossed.” He rested his eyes behind his palms. “No good deed goes unpunished.”

Rumble smoothed down his prickling coat. “Well, if you need help, just ask your buddies. We’re here for you.”

“Here, here!” Button said.

“Button!” his mother hollered from upstairs. “More ponies here to see you!”

“Thanks, Mom!” he shouted up. He scrambled to his feet and rushed up the stairs, almost running head-first into Featherweight. The two of them halted in their tracks, regarded each other quietly, and then exchanged a gentlecoltly hoof-bump.

“So glad you could make it, Sir Weight.”

“Charmed as always, Sir Mash.”

“Perhaps you might like to peruse the delicacies, Sir Weight?”

“That sounds like an excellent idea, Sir Mash.”

Pipsqueak’s low murmur carried past them down the staircase. “You’re mocking me, aren’t you? I can feel it.”

“One side guys.” Snips jostled for position at the basement door. “Master gamer coming through. Give up your hopes for victory.”

As Button Mash showed the newcomers around, he couldn’t help but overhear Spike and Rumble.

“Thanks for the heads-up, Rumble.”

“No prob. What are friends for?”

Button pulled his mouth into a half-smile. As he spent the evening with the other colts, playing games, sharing stories, and munching junk food, he figured that he had the answer.

***

Unseen But Felt

The Crone’s hooves clomped against the stone path through the grove. No sunlight reached this deep into the caves, but the trees were fed by more arcane methods than a sun controlled by ponies. Magic lines absorbed light from the sky and carried it below. Golden dust drifted from the leaves as fresh air flowed through the tunnels from aboveground. Water from an underground river brought vital nutrients up the roots to the trees themselves, where they were converted to energy to grow and power to reproduce.

The Crone reached up to pick a golden apple with her gnarled foreleg. She bit deep into the fruit and experienced the sensation of pure sunlight flowing through her veins, invigorating her body, lengthening her life. A few wrinkles disappeared, though there were far more where they came from. She finished her meal and continued on her walk.

The largest tree in the orchard rose twice as high as its neighbors. It trunk was as thick as a house and its branches grew into the cavern ceiling, tearing through stone as if digging upwards in desperation. Magic flowed up and down from the roots to the leaves and shone with an inviting glow.

That feeling of warm welcome ended when the Crone came to the base of the tree.

A mirror was embedded into the trunk by dark magic. Bark died and fell away in a jagged scar around the carved golden frame. Wood that touched the mirror was rotten and infested with worms. The Crone saw no reflection in the mirror. In its stead, there was a consuming dark cloud that roiled and raged.

She bowed before it, the hood of her cloak falling in front of her graying orange-and-yellow mane and wrinkly, orangey cream-colored coat. “Master, the dreams no longer have a lasting effect on the dragon. He has found boldness in the closeness of friends.”

The air chilled. The branches of nearby trees shook, carrying a sound like a roaring ocean. Bark crumbled away from the highest tree.

The Crone shivered, pulling her hood tighter. Her sharp purple eyes peered into the mirror’s void. “Um, hello! Master! Your plan to crush the dragon has failed. What are we supposed to do now?

A low breath echoed through the cavern. The Crone shut her eyes as the answer came in the form of a guttural growl.

There are always others.

The Crone waited for further instruction, but none came. When she looked at the mirror, it was a plain flat surface of glass. No reflection, no clouds, just a void. She raised a leg and moved to leave. “I don’t suppose I should talk with the Sisters about this?”

The continued silence was broken by the sound of her hooves on the stone path. “Fine. Have it your way.”

On the far side of the mirror, trapped in an endless void, two greedy green eyes watched her leave. They looked at a world of golden apples, prosperous kingdoms, and a strong core of magic power.

Mine.

Author's Note:

It's not a years-later epilogue, but a week-later epilogue is just as good, right? It gave me an excuse to write from different perspectives, stretch the world a little bit, and practice my Sweetie Belle and Button Mash.

And, of course, an unapologetic tease at the villain of the saga. Mystery, intrigue, threads of fate, all that jazz.

I hope you enjoyed the story, and I hope to see you next time. :twilightsmile:

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Comments ( 26 )

Button Mash's cutie mark is in puppeteering?

... Except instead of being sorta lame, it's a magical device/power he has, and thus actually kinda awesome, and probably has a myriad of unusual applications?

Yeah, I'm down with that.

Also, isn't controlling a video game character metaphorical puppeteering?

Anyway, I liked the story... but the "the story isn't really concluded yet" feel the ending has here just makes me want to read more.

A hoof rapped the door in desperation. Sweetie Belle’s head bobbed up, her eyes wide. “Dang!” She checked the clock. “Dang!” She looked down at the second contact lens, as yet unapplied. “Dang, dang!”

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Ehh, apart from the villain teaser at the end, this didn't really feel like an epilogue. Oh well, who am I to say? I'm no writer.

Nice wrap-up. I'll be waiting for the next story.

Also, Sweetie, I totally get the contact thing... yuck.

--Spade

So is the Spike and Applebloom relationship going to be put on the back burner for now?
If so I'm cool with that since that villain sounds interesting at the very least

I like the expository wrap-up with the contrasting parties, especially since they highlight how similar Sweetie and Button can be...

“Ah, but I thought I was doing that already.” Sweetie smirked. “Successful fashion designer and a burgeoning music career? What could be better?”

Kind of agree with Sweetie here. She's making a living with dresses, and belting her heart out in the Ponytones. I can't imagine what she has to be unhappy about at this point, unless it's Button Mash not working up the courage to ask her out. :unsuresweetie: Overall though, nice to see Snarkie Sweetie.

“It’s a crush at this exact moment,” Apple Bloom said. She took a dainty sip of her soup. “An’ ah don’t feel right askin’ Spike to give up part of who he is to be with me. Ah figure there’s a reason he was born a dragon.”

C'mon Ms. Potions Master, there has to be an elixir with temporary effects! And think what good advertising it will do for your new business if you can get it to work!

“Uh. Yeah. My dad taught me all the family recipes.” Button blushed behind a smile. “T-turns out jalapeno juice flows through our veins.”

There's an old-timey pony with an enormous mustache on a bottle of "Salsa Mash Brand Salsa" down at Barnyard Bargains, isn't there?

Spike finished descending the stairs and cast his gaze around the room. He gave a low whistle. “Not bad.”

Who better to judge a man-cave than a dragon? :moustache:

“Buddy.” Rumble fluttered up to Spike and took hold of his hands. “Buddy, we will fix this thing for you. You don’t have to live in the dark any longer.”
Button peered over the back of the couch. A tear dripped down his cheek. “It’s so sad to see a childhood missed.”

I agree, minus the sarcasm.

“And I won’t.” Spike crossed his forearms and let out a sigh. “I’m gonna talk with Applejack and hope I get to her before the rumors do. Hopefully it’ll at least ease the minds of the ponies that matter.”
Button Mash nailed Rumble with a headshot. “Is that before or after you tell Bloom about it?”
Spike held a finger up and snapped it. “Good point. After. We’ll have to talk to make sure we don’t get our wires crossed.” He rested his eyes behind his palms. “No good deed goes unpunished.”

Nice work Spikey, honesty with Applejack after talking with the lady. He's moving up the scale towards his big bro!

The largest tree in the orchard rose twice as high as its neighbors. It trunk was as thick as a house and its branches grew into the cavern ceiling, tearing through stone as if digging upwards in desperation. Magic flowed up and down from the roots to the leaves and shone with an inviting glow.

You know, it would be weird if the Crystal Tree were the only member of its species. Looks like it has some relatives...

She bowed before it, the hood of her cloak falling in front of her graying orange-and-yellow mane and wrinkly, orangey cream-colored coat.

Sunset Shimmer? Maybe the one from EqG? Or an OC.

On the far side of the mirror, trapped in an endless void, two greedy green eyes watched her leave. They looked at a world of golden apples, prosperous kingdoms, and a strong core of magic power.
“Mine.”

Ok, spooky badass, and pretty much a confirmation of who we all thought it was, with those green eyes. Although alt-Sombra had green eyes two, so down to 2 suspects.

I hope Merry is one of those sisters, (I'm guessing she's the matron while Silver Spoon is the maiden). Sounds like she's keeping busy with the rumor mill (and watching Spike). Did Scuttlebutt escape the fall of Dulcimer and move to Ponyville? I feel like I now have 3 new questions for each answer!

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Button Mash's cutie mark is in puppeteering?
... Except instead of being sorta lame, it's a magical device/power he has, and thus actually kinda awesome, and probably has a myriad of unusual applications?
Yeah, I'm down with that.

I'll have you know that the puppeteer profession has a long and storied history of storytelling stories. With puppets!

I foresee Pony!Jim Henson making an appearance in some form.

Also, isn't controlling a video game character metaphorical puppeteering?

You got it! :raritywink:

Anyway, I liked the story... but the "the story isn't really concluded yet" feel the ending has here just makes me want to read more.

I was afraid of that. It's one of those dangers one faces when writing a series. The eternal question of "did I actually tell of full story with a sequel hook, or did I just leave everybody hanging?" As I always say, my writing style is a work in progress, so I'll see if I can't tighten up the screws in the next story.


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Sweetie once picked up a sound level reader and said "When this baby hits 88 decibels, you're gonna see some serious horseapples."


5722213

Ehh, apart from the villain teaser at the end, this didn't really feel like an epilogue. Oh well, who am I to say? I'm no writer.

It's an epilogue in a looser sense, since it's both written in a different perspective than the rest of the story, and serves to... not quite wrap up threads, but give them a push in the right direction. I mostly called it an epilogue because it had a different perspective. The rest of the story was all Spike's POV.


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Nice wrap-up. I'll be waiting for the next story.
Also, Sweetie, I totally get the contact thing... yuck.
--Spade

Great to hear!

I will never, ever wear contact lenses. Ever never. :raritydespair:


5722392

So is the Spike and Applebloom relationship going to be put on the back burner for now?
If so I'm cool with that since that villain sounds interesting at the very least

Yes. We will see hints and peeks at how things are going, but we'll be focusing intently on other things, like Discord and Sunset Shimmer, for the time being.


5722509

I like the expository wrap-up with the contrasting parties, especially since they highlight how similar Sweetie and Button can be...

I never quite get tired of parallels.

Kind of agree with Sweetie here. She's making a living with dresses, and belting her heart out in the Ponytones. I can't imagine what she has to be unhappy about at this point, unless it's Button Mash not working up the courage to ask her out. :unsuresweetie: Overall though, nice to see Snarkie Sweetie.

I'd say wait and see, but that's no fun. Rationally, she should be the happiest mare ever. Ponies aren't always rational, though.

And let's not forget the possibility of something malicious haunting her.

C'mon Ms. Potions Master, there has to be an elixir with temporary effects! And think what good advertising it will do for your new business if you can get it to work!

Dragonfire five hour relief! 100% more pony or your money back! :moustache:

Mmyeah. I should just let you write the ads.

There's an old-timey pony with an enormous mustache on a bottle of "Salsa Mash Brand Salsa" down at Barnyard Bargains, isn't there?

His one shame is the inability to grow a moustache for real. :ajsleepy:

You know, it would be weird if the Crystal Tree were the only member of its species. Looks like it has some relatives...

I'm convinced that season 4's "The Box" was a seed, and the crystal castle tree thingy is the next generation.

Sunset Shimmer? Maybe the one from EqG? Or an OC.

Don't forget I also mentioned the eye color. She's not an OC. :twistnerd:

Ok, spooky badass, and pretty much a confirmation of who we all thought it was, with those green eyes. Although alt-Sombra had green eyes two, so down to 2 suspects.

I can't say anything without either spoiling or lying.

I hope Merry is one of those sisters, (I'm guessing she's the matron while Silver Spoon is the maiden). Sounds like she's keeping busy with the rumor mill (and watching Spike). Did Scuttlebutt escape the fall of Dulcimer and move to Ponyville? I feel like I now have 3 new questions for each answer!

Scuttlebutt was also mentioned by Scootaloo during Scootaloo Will Fly!, blowing your mind completely. Seems he's one mobile creep. :trollestia:

This is going to sound sappy, but when I realized Twilight was mute, and I realized she was never going to sing "Love is in Bloom" or any of her other hits again... dust got caught in my eye.

I call that one a bullseye. :pinkiehappy:

Glad to hear that, as long as Discord is around she'll be fine :twilightsmile:...
Oh you bastard! :twilightangry2: That's, that's dirty pool!

Muhuahahahaha!

Alright, what if Twilight got her hooves on some sort of magical gem that magically empowers one's voice? Would that help her?

Those things are certifiable Bad News for reasons we shall get into later. I'm thinking Blueblood's Ascension Part III, only with more harmonizing.

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And let's not forget the possibility of something malicious haunting her.

What in Ponyville could make her feel moody and argumentative?

Don't forget I also mentioned the eye color. She's not an OC. :twistnerd:

Is it that nag Peachy Pie? I never trusted her! :twilightangry2: If not her, I fear I will have to wait and see like some filthy casual who hasn't memorized all the coats and hair-combos.

Dragonfire five hour relief! 100% more pony or your money back! :moustache:
Mmyeah. I should just let you write the ads.

I would say use Red Bull with a picture of Twilight on the can, but I'm pretty sure it would be offensive to all the unicorns out there to reference that ancient monster. lair2000.net/Unicorn_Lyrics/instrumental/attack.jpg

Scuttlebutt was also mentioned by Scootaloo during Scootaloo Will Fly!, blowing your mind completely. Seems he's one mobile creep. :trollestia:

Efficient and discreet minions are needed everywhere, and as long as your employer doesn't live to discover your betrayal, you can even maintain great references!

Those things are certifiable Bad News for reasons we shall get into later. I'm thinking Blueblood's Ascension Part III, only with more harmonizing.

So like nightmares, but with more songs? You have a funny way of spelling "Certifiable awesome news." Now I keep thinking, why wasn't Daniel Ingram around for the pilot to give Nightmare Moon a song?

If we go by this story and nothing else ever, I'd say Scoots gives some pretty good advice.

“Transformation.” Sweetie Belle squinted her eye to focus on lifting her spoon. “Transmogrification, transmutation, metamorphosis, it’s an entire field of magic study. I haven’t bothered to look into it for obvious reasons, but—”

There we go, transmogrification. Well, make that very carefully planned out transmogrification. Or maybe just a cardboard box, whichever you can afford.

Interesting talent for Button.

The Crone? A Master? Spike's dreams weren't his own? And Luna couldn't tell? Hmn.

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If we go by this story and nothing else ever, I'd say Scoots gives some pretty good advice.

Well of course. You aren't gonna get anything done if you don't keep moving. That said, the best advice starts to dull after you've heard it fifty times. :scootangel:

There we go, transmogrification. Well, make that very carefully planned out transmogrification. Or maybe just a cardboard box, whichever you can afford.

Coming soon: Twilight Sparkle Goes 'Boink'! :pinkiehappy:

The Crone? A Master? Spike's dreams weren't his own? And Luna couldn't tell? Hmn.

Layers within webs within folds within twists within plots. And that's a start.

5730118

What in Ponyville could make her feel moody and argumentative?

An honest to goodness surprise, actually.

Is it that nag Peachy Pie? I never trusted her! :twilightangry2: If not her, I fear I will have to wait and see like some filthy casual who hasn't memorized all the coats and hair-combos.

I won't apologize for obsessing over things I need to describe visually. :unsuresweetie:

I would say use Red Bull with a picture of Twilight on the can, but I'm pretty sure it would be offensive to all the unicorns out there to reference that ancient monster.

I feel like I should watch The Last Unicorn one of these days. That seems like something that would be a good namesake for Tartarus. Or should I say Tartaurus?

So like nightmares, but with more songs? You have a funny way of spelling "Certifiable awesome news." Now I keep thinking, why wasn't Daniel Ingram around for the pilot to give Nightmare Moon a song?

Like Nightmares, but with less mind warping of the host and more mind warping of the people around them. Unless Twilight didn't learn anything about respecting individual rights since the Lesson Zero incident, she won't be too quick to grab a hold of that.

I've actually heard that Daniel Ingram writes the music, but not the lyrics. And when he does, it's in conjunction with the episode writers. Dunno how truthful my forgotten source is. It doesn't take away from the fact that the man's got bountiful talent!

5745481

I won't apologize for obsessing over things I need to describe visually. :unsuresweetie:

I'm goint to take this as rock-solid confirmation that Peachie Pie is the mastermind behind the whole plot. What is the one weakness of Sirens? They need to be able to sing enchanting, rhyming lyrics. And who is an award-winning poet in Ponyville? Peachie Pie! (also an award-winning rollerskater, but that may be less relevant). She even practiced her skills by taking part in a song to turn all the affection and praise of Ponyville towards a single pony! I wouldn't be surprised if the Sirens are deeply indebted to their ghostwriter, who probably told Merry she could rhyme "reflection" and "election." The only remaining piece of the puzzle is: Why haven't we seen a wight on roller skates yet? :rainbowhuh:

I feel like I should watch The Last Unicorn one of these days.

Yes, you definitely should, I saw it as a child and it's one of the reasons I was willing to give some show about fantasy equines a shot in the first place. 41.media.tumblr.com/a40207e90663150718b8eb24e3fef6e3/tumblr_mfphzbSLFy1ru5991o2_r1_500.jpg

That seems like something that would be a good namesake for Tartarus. Or should I say Tartaurus?

I've seen Tartaurus used in some great stories where minotaurs guard all the demons.

I've actually heard that Daniel Ingram writes the music, but not the lyrics. And when he does, it's in conjunction with the episode writers. Dunno how truthful my forgotten source is. It doesn't take away from the fact that the man's got bountiful talent!

if I had my way there would be at least one song per episode, but what are you gonna do.

So sorry I didn't read this sooner, what with work and my ongoing story and all XP

So, a few thing: Damn, Button Mash has some ooooooold systems XD For a second there I expected him to bring out something akin to the Commodore 64...oh, goodness...

Also, this is part of a saga? o.o Are there stories before this or is this the first? Either way, interesting way to introduce a villain :)

Finally, call me a sucker for romance, but I hope we see more of AB and Spike's relationship develop x3 But you're the author, and I will enjoy even if it's no the major point of the plot!

5745531

What is the one weakness of Sirens?

Taco Tues--

They need to be able to sing enchanting, rhyming lyrics.

Oh, yeah. That.

And who is an award-winning poet in Ponyville?

Zecor--!

Peachie Pie! (also an award-winning rollerskater, but that may be less relevant).

Yes, her too. (Roller skating may or may not have any bearing at all on the plot of future stories.)

I wouldn't be surprised if the Sirens are deeply indebted to their ghostwriter, who probably told Merry she could rhyme "reflection" and "election." The only remaining piece of the puzzle is: Why haven't we seen a wight on roller skates yet? :rainbowhuh:

You know that toy, "Stretch Armstrong"? Try to stand that thing up on wheels. Rubbery legs aren't good for stability.

if I had my way there would be at least one song per episode, but what are you gonna do.

If I had my way, all of the villains would have gotten a song. At minimum. :twistnerd: We need a Diamond Tiara song with Spoon on the spoons.

5796571

So sorry I didn't read this sooner, what with work and my ongoing story and all XP

That's life. I'm glad to know you enjoyed the story when you could. :pinkiehappy:

So, a few thing: Damn, Button Mash has some ooooooold systems XD For a second there I expected him to bring out something akin to the Commodore 64...oh, goodness...

I followed the rule of "write what you know," that is, I gave him the systems I've had in my lifetime, so no Commodore. :twilightblush:

Though of course he owns a Gamestation 4 by Pony and a P-box One. He's gotta keep up with the times.

Also, this is part of a saga? o.o Are there stories before this or is this the first? Either way, interesting way to introduce a villain :)

The most recent in a fairly long series. From the story description:

There're both one shots and longer stories, alternating between humor and sadness and action. Sometimes all three at once. :raritywink:

Finally, call me a sucker for romance, but I hope we see more of AB and Spike's relationship develop x3 But you're the author, and I will enjoy even if it's no the major point of the plot!

There's no doubt in my mind we'll see Spike and Apple Bloom again in the near-ish future. Keep an eye out for stories with their tags. :moustache:

5796927

Yes, her too. (Roller skating may or may not have any bearing at all on the plot of future stories.)

Has Zecora actually won an award for her awesome rhyming? Anyway, if there's one pony who can stand up to the might of Peachy Pie on skates, it's AB's cousin. geekedoutnation.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/MyLittlePonyFF13.jpg

If I had my way, all of the villains would have gotten a song. At minimum. :twistnerd: We need a Diamond Tiara song with Spoon on the spoons.

Oh man, how were the adorabullies not a musical duo with Silver Spoons on the spoons in Rainbow Rocks?!

Sounds like maybe the CMC well turn Spike into a pony? That would be a great funny story.

Gotta say, I dig your characterization. When Spike spoke with Rarity, I could just tell that she was older, you know?

Cloudkicker's accent was pretty jarring. I almost thought she was an OC for a second there.

6045594

Gotta say, I dig your characterization. When Spike spoke with Rarity, I could just tell that she was older, you know?

Thank you! Characters are just about my favorite thing ever, so I always make sure they're as spot-on as I can make them. It's a lot of fun to explore the might-bes and could-happens.

And Rarity's always been a favorite of mine, so that goes double for her. :raritywink:

Cloudkicker's accent was pretty jarring. I almost thought she was an OC for a second there.

Yeah, I'll give you that. I get the feeling that my... interpretation of Cloudkicker would be jarring no matter how I introduced her. I figured she'd be most comfortable exploding out of a howling blizzard, shouting her head off. It wouldn't be a MyHobby story without a couple rough patches.

I've heard it said that the difference between a background pony and an OC is that the reader knows what one looks like. :twilightblush:

6048425

I've heard it said that the difference between a background pony and an OC is that the reader knows what one looks like.

That's pretty much how I've always felt about the matter. While I find some common fandom interpretations of Background Ponies amusing (Lyra's obsession with humans) some others I find a bit....obnoxious (Cloudkicker's other depiction, which I experienced second hand in another fic).

For what it's worth, I liked your Cloudkicker much better, even if I could barely understand her. :P

I really liked Apple Bloom in this. It's nice to see an idea of where she'd end up if decided to leave the farm. Her having a heavier build than the average filly her age was pretty interesting. I always imagined that's how Babs would turn out.

I... kinda feel I shouldn't have read this. Not that I didn't enjoy it, but moreso that it's incredibly spoilery for Daybreak :/

5 months after the attack, and Twi doesn't have her voice back... kinda makes the whole chapter I read today moot, ya know? as well as... "Mr Scuttlebutt". WHAT.

Kinda needs a big warning about that, ya know. I'm now hesitant to read the last two fics available :P

6223146

I... kinda feel I shouldn't have read this. Not that I didn't enjoy it, but moreso that it's incredibly spoilery for Daybreak :/
[...]
Kinda needs a big warning about that, ya know. I'm now hesitant to read the last two fics available :P

It's a dangerous thing I do, I know. I want each story to be stand-alone, while tying into the larger narrative. You aren't the first to complain about the spoilers, of course, so I probably won't jump ahead like this in the future. It just raises too many questions. :twilightblush: You live and learn, amiright?

If you're content to wait for DayBreak to finish, then you should probably do that. There are a couple other spoilers en route in Absence and An Equestrian Griffon. Nothing that would ruin DayBreak completely, of course, but enough that you'll probably be annoyed. :unsuresweetie:

One thing I've been careful to do is to make it so that no matter what order you read them in, each story has information that none of the others has. Or presents an idea from a different angle. Or introduces something snazzy into the mix. Or all three. Then if the reader puts it all together, it adds a whole other layer onto what they've read. It's ambitious, it's crazy, and heaven help me, I hope it works.

5 months after the attack, and Twi doesn't have her voice back... kinda makes the whole chapter I read today moot, ya know? as well as... "Mr Scuttlebutt". WHAT.

It could make the chapter moot, but I made sure to focus on Spike's reaction and how he's dealt with it. Twilight still being mute is a spoiler, yeah, I can't deny that. It is, however, a pretty big deal across several stories, so I'll have a hard time hiding it for long...

This is what I get for writing ahead. :facehoof:

As for Scuttlebutt, I figured that was a nice little wink to the series veterans. All it reveals is that he survives Daybreak and he's hanging around Ponyville. Probably for something nefarious.

I'm really conflicted about the whole thing, to be honest. But I have to live in the world I built, so I might as well own it. :twilightsmile:

6223913 Kinda feels Like it should be all in one big story, and some chapters would update in the middle rather than the end :P

Well this was fantastic but .goddamn I really need to catch up on DayBreak.

6824173

If you're interested, the PRIMARY source for the Winningverse would be the stories of Chengar Qordath.

“But it could totally turn Spike into a pony!”

Or, you know, Apple Bloom into a dragon. A lot of settings, dragons are resistant to magic, whereas in MLP we've directly seen ponies being transformed into other things. Besides, there's a big difference between accommodating oneself to one's partner and asking one's partner to accommodate themself to one.

8007583

Or, you know, Apple Bloom into a dragon. A lot of settings, dragons are resistant to magic, whereas in MLP we've directly seen ponies being transformed into other things.

I've established earlier, in Lord Mayor Applejack, that Dragons are not immune to magic, but it does affect them differently. Their biology is so different and unique, and ponies have barely studied them, that it makes for a real gamble what sort of result you'll get.

So a transformation either way, dragon to pony or vice versa, is a very dangerous, complicated thing, not to be taken lightly.

Besides, there's a big difference between accommodating oneself to one's partner and asking one's partner to accommodate themself to one.

You've hit on the real big conflict for Apple Bloom, which has far reach across several stories. It's not really until later that it hits her that what she wants... may not be what Spike wants. That's the core of their arc, to accommodate, or to not.

In my experience, it's very possible to love a person without necessarily having their best interests in mind. It's why relationships need to mature.

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