• Published 3rd Oct 2015
  • 4,552 Views, 141 Comments

The Dragonfly Effect - Ichiro Sato

When Spike went to bed, he was a 162 year old dragon, war veteran, twice widower, and living on the outskirts of Ponyville. This morning, he wakes up to a voice he hadn't heard in decades on the eve of the 1000th Summer Sun Celebration.

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Chapter 8: Fancy Quantum Mathmatics

“Alright, ya lil’ fetlock biters, it’s time fer bed! We got a whole lotta work tomorrow ‘cause it’s the start o’ Applebuck Season!”

“Mama, tell us a story before bed. Pleeeeeease?”

“Aw, shucks, startin’ wit’ tha darn eyes already? Whaddya wanna hear?”

“Tell us ‘bout the first applebuck season after ya met Auntie Twiligh’!”

“Well, shoot, ya’ll wanna hear that ol’ story? Alrigh’, so it all began when Ah made a bet wit’ yer uncle Big Mac that bit mah haunches pretty hard…”

One by one, the party guests who were not Princesses roused themselves from their ethanol comas and one by one received their bitter medicine with the greater halves of the group returning to a listless, if less pained fugue. Spike, for his part, opted to ease the troubles of the mares by using his grocery purchases to make a large breakfast for everyone, as well as take his mind off of the strange episode with Twilight.

“Not the first time she’s talked to herself, but she’s never talked to herself like that.” He muttered, wishing Lyra was there. A sentiment he waved away quickly. “I can’t dump things on to her just because I’m pussyfooting around telling everyone.” Spike nodded in agreement with himself. He wasn’t a twelve year old baby dragon (okay, he was, but not in mind), he was a one hundred sixty two year old young adult dragon. “Okay, one hundred sixty two isn’t exactly ‘adult’ by most dragon standards, but I am - was? No, still have been able to handle my own problems for more than a hundred years now. Which includes asking for help when I’m in over my head.” Spike monologued as a familiar, orange mare joined him in the kitchen, her green eyes slightly dark from the late night and uncomfortable bed that was the library flood, but she still seemed to shine like the gold in her mane.

“Sounds ‘bit more like yer outta yer head there, partner.” Applejack chuckled as Spike slipped the first batch of baked oats and apples into the oven.

“How do you mean-?” The dragon was ready to ask, but soon realized what the farmpony meant.

“First sign of insanity is talking to yourself.” They said in unison and found themselves laughing.

Applejack took a nearby knife and began to slice apples for the next batch. “Well, seems yer at least mindful you might be a few apples short of the bushel. Speakin’ of which, hope you don’ mind if I lend a hoof, hate just kind of sittin’ on ‘em in the mornin’s.” Spike’s gaze fell the the wooden prosthesis capping off her right foreleg.

“Um, sure you can spare it?” The time traveller couldn’t help but ask with some concern despite the black comedy.

The applemare though seemed to silently answer by deftly slicing each apple into thin, even twelefths and cored the thing by quickly jabbing the knife into the top and pulling it out, with core, in a fluid motion. “This ain’ the first time Ah’ve had to do things with a bit o’ deadweight. ‘Round the farm, ya gotta git things done, even when you ain’t always doin’ so good.”

“That was beautiful.” Spike’s inner culinary couldn’t help but applaud Applejack’s skill, and even with his century and a half of experience with those little ponies, the corners of his lips tugged to the higher edges of his features in a glowing smile as he remembered he could spend a thousand years with even humble Applejack and they would never fail to impress her eachday.

“Whoa nelly! Ah didn’ lose an eye out there an’ mistake an onion for an apple did I?” The orange mare exclaimed in shock, giving Spike a cognicence to his own, welling tears.

The wyrmling shook his head fiercely and rubbed his eyes on his arm. “No, I just cry easily. You can ask Twilight.” he managed to confess while lie at the same time. The naturalness in which his forked tongue came to him was beginning to bother him.

“Uh-huh…” Applejack’s own lips tugged into a frown. “Look, Ah know you’re used to doin’ this for Twilight, but there’s a lot more than Twilight here.” The ‘cowmare’ brightened. “‘Sides, don’t think in all the time this kooky buncha craziness has happened we’ve had much a chance to talk. Got to overhear plenty of your conversations with that Shinin’ brother o’ Twilight’s.”

The dragon recomposed himself and the wyrmling and mare began to prepare breakfast in earnest. “I give him grief, but honestly, Shining Armor’s a great brother, even to those who don’t share his blood.” Spike smiled fondly.

“Seems like you don’t do too bad yourself.” Applejack smiled. “Pretty darn tall o’ ya to stand up to him before the Princess-es.” She corrected herself. “Ain’ never gonna git used to there bein’ more than one.”

“What about Cadance?”

“She don’ count.” Applejack deadpanned.

The small dragon broke into a hissing laugh while phantom pains began to shoot through his missing arm, currently nothing more than a crude, pronged scoop originally meant to serve as a pony foreleg. “You’re the second per-ony to say that. What’s everyone got against her? I mean, she’s not as active as Celestia, but give her a bit of a break she does… Things.” Actually, even Spike wasn’t sure what Candace did before becoming the ‘empress’ of the Crystal Empire. At least besides creatively stress test the shock weight capacity of any pieces of furniture in the Canterlot Palace with her boyfriend.

“Uh-huh…” The Apple family face said with the same skepticism Twilight regarded theories of life on other worlds visiting. “And that means- Horse apples!” She segued rather appropriately when she accidentally attempted to grab a bowl of dough with her more simple prosthesis and dropped it on the floor with a splat and a shatter.

Spike was quick to start cleaning up the mess, frowning at the error caused by Applejack’s timeline exclusive injury. “I’m sorry.” He instinctively whispered.

“Why?” She blinked while passing him a wet towel. “You didn’ make me drop the darn thing.”

Remembering Lyra’s words, Spike decided to brooch his situation to one of the more levelheaded ponies he had known is his life before taking it to the princesses. “Not for the mess, rather what led to it.” He explained rather formally while Applejack lifted her prosthetic forehoof to her face and examined it quizzically.

“Spike, ya weren’t even there. Ah ain’ seein’ how you were responsible for me gettin’ mah hoof crushed by a couple o’ rocks we couldn’ see ‘cause o’ the whole ‘eternal night’ guff. ‘Sides, ain’ like I lost mah workin’ legs.” She said thrusting them out proudly as she roll called: “Bucky McGillycuddy an’ Kicks McGee.”

Spike fought off his grin of amusement after hearing the familiar, and ridiculous names for her powerful haunches. “No, I mean… Applejack…” He trailed off, trying to find some way to break the subject to her.

A gentle, orange hoof set on his shoulder. “Spike, if there’s somethin’ you feel ya need to confess to, it’s mighty big o’ ya, but I ain’ blind to whatever it is you been tryin’ to say is killin’ ya.” Her expression was comforting, but there was a trace of disappointment he could feel. “So, why don’t ya just sleep on it a little longer, sugarcube?”

“‘Sleep on it’?” Spike echoed with a slightly manic laugh he couldn’t guess the origin of. Manic enough to make the farmer take a step back with surprise and concern. “I’ve slept on it plenty enough, Applejack.” Saying it out somehow helped his resolve. Just a little. “What I told you I’m from the future? A future. And that last time… That didn’t happen.” He said pointing to the prosthetic hoof at the end of Applejack’s foreleg.

The orange mare looked at Spike and gave a slow blink. The silence seemed to become its own cacophony and the opening of the kitchen door to reveal a still staggering Lemonhearts enter the kitchen, her groans reverberating from within the confines of the pitcher her head was trapped in. A soft glow of magic could be made out through the frosted glass of the vessel, opening the ice box and pulling out another empty pitcher that had held some spirit the previous night and been replaced only due to drunken error.

The same error which let to the yellow pony ‘pouring’ the nonexistent contents of the other pitcher into a glass, set the empty pitcher back inside, then tilt back the cup, the rim tapping against the pitcher filled with unicorn head, and she let out a sigh of satisfaction. “I needed that…” She sighed. “No rush on breakfast since a lot of us are still taking turns with the bathroom, buuuuut… I like whipped cream on my apple pancakes.”

“Noted.” Spike and Applejack said in unison after a slightly confused glance to one another at this strange, non-sequitur of the universe.

“Thanks!” The yellow unicorn said gleefully, trotting out the kitchen with the pitcher still on her head and seemingly never noticing once, even as she sealed the kitchen door behind her.

After letting the tension settle back in, Applejack quizzically asked. “So, you ain’ budgin’ from that story?”

“What? When did I-” Spike stammered as he searched his memory then ‘ahh’d’. “That’s right, I mentioned this to all of you already at the housewarming party.”

“Yeeep. An’, honestly, Ah didn’ really believe it then an’ Ah find it just as hard to believe now.” Applejack admitted bluntly with a shake of her head.

“What if I was being honest?” Spike probed.

“Well, for one thing, it just wouldn’t make a lick o’ sense. I mean… I don’t understand how time travel works-”

“Honestly? Neither do I.” Spike cut in to admit. “As I mentioned during the Summer Sun Celebration, I went to bed a few nights ago one hundred fifty years from now, and woke up now. Or rather a few days ago.” He defended while Applejack just shook her head.

“Spike, please, this is somethin’ Ah don’t even want to try to wrap my head around. Ah mean if you’re here to prevent somethin’, an’ ya do, what would make ya go back an’ change it to begin with- Aaaahhh! Ah’m thinkin’ about it!” Applejack began to panic, something Spike felt horrible for finding just a bit adorable.

He wrapped a scaly arm around her and stroked her mane, tiny claws raking through her tangles, he thought better of using the cold, metal arm for any manner of comfort. “Hey! Hey, it’s okay!” The dragon reassured but trailed off, not sure what he could say other than: ‘Psyche! I’m not from the future afterall! It’s just a prank, pone.’

The very idea of such an empty lie being used to reassure the Element of Honesty made him cringe.

“An’ if you change things…” She was beginning to hyperventilate, the endearing charm of her earlier anxiety gone as Spike could see her fears trembling beneath veridian irises. “If you change things… Ah mean… What about? What about the babies?” She asked, the question hitting Spike as well like a lead weight dropped on him from the top of Canterlot’s highest spire. “I don’- Apples have families, Spike, it’s just the way of it.”

“Shhhh, please, Applejack, don’t think about it.” Spike hugged her tighter, his own eyes starting to well up with tears as he thought of the countless fillies and foals he knew from the future, reminded painfully how the sheer ripples of his careless actions may yet have erased even sweet Pumpkin and Pound Cake from existence.

The two broke down into a fearful silence, the only solace each took was each other, Applejack slowly reciprocating the one armed hug herself.

After another few minutes, their fears slowly abated, their focus shifting elsewhere.

Namely on the once more open kitchen door with a scandalized looking Rarity staring at the two. “Applejack, darling!”

“What?” The blonde mare asked flatly.

“I mean, I suppose it’s good you found a man who sees your beauty but shaping them from such a young age and a dragon-” Before Rarity could finish the rest of her sentence, she retreated behind the door with a provoking smile on her lips and a rather ‘high’ laughter from her throat as she defended herself from a furiously flushing Applejack who was throwing random things at the alabaster unicorn.

“Consarnit!” She huffed and threw down her hat.

“AJ, let’s calm down.” Spike placated and looked around. “Calm down and clean up… Then finish breakfast. I think everyo-pony has waited long enough.”

Applejack’s nostrils flared in a snort of ire. “Ah already know what Rarity’s gettin’ fed; her own teeth.”

“Hey, you wanna really shock her? We could even play up on the yarn she’s already spun in her mind.” Spike suggested and the mighty dragon immediately withered under a powerful death glare from the farm pony. “Rescinded.” He squeaked.

Applejack was still glaring.

“I mean withdrawn.” Spike clarified.

And finally, she withdrew herself in kind, her expression more sheepish than pony. “Oh.”

Author's Note:

Well, after nearly a year of silence, I'm back because of a certain someones. (you know who you are)

I do apologize for the tardiness of this chapter, brought on largely by my hectic work and life schedules. I do hope you enjoyed this little chapter to begin things once again.

I also apologize to my usual editor for bypassing you on this, so if there's too many errors, just lemme know.

Comments ( 12 )

when the hiatus drops right after the damned update.

ohh yummy yummy fics
This is pretty good

Well Spike is suffering from all the issues with time travel well I would say. The problem is that will anyone believe him or will he change things a little to much?

Good chapter, and welcome back.:moustache:

I'm glad this story is back! :twilightsmile:

This fic has a lot of potency, and you don't commonly see fics with Spike as the protagonist too, which is a huge plus.
But most of all,

Glad you're alive! Colbyr here (changed my username a bit back) - happy to see you've picked the pen (keyboard?) back up! A few little typos I found in the chapter:

“Sounds ‘bit more like yer outta yer head their, partner.”

their -> there

“Thanks!” The yellow unicorn said gleely,

gleely -> gleefully, happily, etc.

He wrapped scaly a arm around her

-> 'wrapped a scaly arm'

“What if I was being honest?” Spike probbed.

probbed -> probed

There are a few small grammatical things throughout the chapter as well, but they don't inhibit the reading enough to be worth mentioning. Glad you're back, and can't wait to see more from you in the future!

Thanks, Colbyr, and blech, I promised to do more than I fall off the earth. I'll admit I haven't been into the show as of late which, funny enough, more makes me worried about how I'll be able to integrate some of the elements I have liked later on. I'll just be winging it. And to enrage people further, I'll throw up a piecemeal preview:

The bright side about Rarity’s attempt to scandalize Applejack proved twofold.

The first bonus was that it distracted the farm pony from any earlier distress about the concept of him being a time traveler. Possibly pushing the whole thing from her mind completely.

The second was providing some hilarious breakfast entertainment as Rarity opened the beginning meal of the day with commentary about ‘the victory couple’ to the shocked stares of many a mare and the two stallions, and Applejack followed up matters by lunging across the table to make good on her conspiracy of amatuer, bare-hoof dentistry.

The whole of breakfast soon became a chaotic mess while half the table tried to pull Applejack back. (“This is a really weird role reversal!” Rainbow Dash would comment), and another half goading the fight. (“Wait, why am I trying to stop this? This is great!” Rainbow Dash would also realize) Just as Spike was starting to worry the matter had quickly gotten out of hand, hoof, or whatever one called their appendages, Spike felt a strange and familiar unsettling in both his stomach and lungs as he turned his head instinctively skyward and filled the room (and his mouth) with the scents of sulphur, smoke, and burnt parchment, the latter of which soon became more than a scent, but a taste of paper ashes as it flew from his mouth in a gout of flame from his burp quivering lips.

The ashes then flew into the air and the burning process reversed before everyone’s eyes revealing nine golden letters.

Is there gonna be more:pinkiesad2:

Please continue the story!

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