• Published 1st Jul 2012
  • 4,144 Views, 112 Comments

Shipping Wars - Soothing Stone



When Fluttershy invites Spike to a romantic-ish dance, everypony tries to figure out why.

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Chapter 4

Overnight, the original posters for the Palace Dance were torn down by crews from the castle, and revised ones went up in their place. It kept the original date and most of the original design, but the bottom third read much differently.

The last third was coated in dark purple and black, and advertised with a familiar moon crescent that the Princess of the Night herself, Princess Luna, would be attending in person to the Dance, the first appearance by royalty to the event in its 23 year history.

Mayor Mare and her staff had to work overtime in the next forty-eight hours, as the announcement created a surge in attendance, the likes of which the Dance had never seen before.

But that was lost for the moment, as the sun rose over the sleepy town for Sunday morning. It would be cooler than the day before, but not by much and still as sunny as it had always been.

Inside Twilight's house, she opened her eyes and looked outside the window. Seeing it was another beautiful day, she stretched out her hooves and rose up for the time being. The unicorn caught Spike snoring down below, and left him alone as she went down to make breakfast. He deserved to sleep in this morning, Saturday was rough on everyone.

She opened the fridge door to find out they were out of nearly everything, expect milk and a bunch of other things. Groaning a little, she took the milk carton and decided to make cereal. But she heard Spike come down the steps as she was prepping the bowls.

"Good morning Spike," she greeted. "Did you sleep well last night?"

Spike blinked and looked around, grateful this didn't look like...his dreams. "Yeah, I slept well, but I had a bunch of nightmares. I gotta tell Fluttershy about this now!"

He rushed for the door, before he stopped and felt a tug at his tail, and saw that Twilight was holding him in place with her magic.

"Now wait just a minute," she said back. "You know how Fluttershy is like at Sundays. She always has a routine with animal feeding, and you know how Angel is when you say something bad to Fluttershy."

He mumbled something as he sat down at the table, Twilight levitating his bowl over to him with a spoon. "Is it bad that I like Rarity? She might be the most beautiful pony in all of Ponyville, but..."

"Yes, it's fine Spike," she sighed. "As long as you really like her in the end."

They continued their breakfast together, and Spike's attitude was lighting up, even making a joke about the whole situation. It seemed like this whole confessing episode might not be so bad after all.

It was then 10 in the morning, and by now Fluttershy would be done feeding all the animals. Spike stood by the front door, as if he was in a roll call for the military.

"So what are you going to say to her?" Twilight barked.

"I'm sorry, but I have feelings for Rarity!" Spike said proudly.

"And what are you going to say if she starts crying?"

"Please stop haunting my dreams!"

She put a hoof over her forehead in disbelief, but continued anyways. "No, the other thing."

"You are a nice pegasus, and I hope you find that special somepony!"

"Great, now let's go!"

They ran out the door, and rushed ahead throughout the streets to the direction of Fluttershy's cottage. They went with beaming faces, like soldiers charging for war.

Midway through, Spike halted and hid behind the corner. Twilight turned around to see what was keeping him up, and he pointed to show that Fluttershy was already here. She was clueless about what was going down, and saw Twilight out in the open.

"Hi Twilight, what are you doing here?" Fluttershy greeted.

"Uh...I...I...had to give something to Pinkie Pie!" Twilight gasped. "You see, her birthday is coming up, and I wanted it to be something to remember, so I'll be going to the Boutique to ask Rarity what it is Pinkie likes for gifts, since she knows that crazy pony better than I do."

"That sounds nice. Oh, I forgot all about it! Do you think she's going to be upset that I forgot?"

"No, no she won't, she's really forgiving. I guess I should be going then."

"Can I go with you? I should get something for her as well."

Twilight panicked for a moment, and looked to see Spike behind the corner's cover. She mouthed "should I?" to him, and he nodded. Fluttershy turned her head to see what Twilight was looking at, but Spike went back to hiding.

"I don't have any problems with it," she said.

Fluttershy giggled as they went to the Boutique, and Spike followed suit a few feet away. He watched nervously, and now he wasn't as confident with Fluttershy right before him.

Still, he waddled on to the Boutique, careful not to be spotted by the yellow pegasus anytime soon. As they got closer, he took a few more breaths and encouraged himself again. This is all you now. You can do this. Don't let anything get in the way and she'll still be your friend.

The two mares found themselves at the entrance of the Boutique, and Twilight held the door open as Fluttershy walked in. She winked at the dragon before going in herself, and now it was all up to Spike.

He approached the door, and looked up at the building. It was all Rarity's work, from top to bottom. It reminded him of his real crush, and hopefully this would give him a chance to also show how much she meant to him. Maybe.

Spike took one last deep huff, and pushed the door open.

The bell rang as he walked in, and Fluttershy turned around from her conversation to see the dragon coming in. "Good morning Spike, nice to see you," she said. "Are you still good for the dance in two days?"

The world froze around Spike, as the moment of truth had arrived and he still had no idea how to react. He had rehearsed his reaction for so long, but didn't think the actual moment would be like this.

His scales felt like they were made of ice, and it seemed like the whole world was watching him, waiting to see what he would do wrong and how soon. Twilight waved a hoof to encourage him, but he barely noticed and blinked a lot.

Fluttershy was confused, not knowing why Spike was acting so weird at first. Then she recalled that this always happened in the movies, and guessed the reasoning behind this.

"I'm sorry, do you not want to go to the dance?" she asked.

"Oh Celestia no!" Spike shouted. "I can't do this, I'm sorry, I just can't! I can't go out with you, I love Rarity!"

Now she was even more confused, as Twilight buried her head in the desk in complete disbelief that it was going so sour.

"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," Fluttershy cried. "But...what do you mean you love Rarity?"

Both Twilight and Spike couldn't believe it. "You...you mean you didn't ask me out because you liked me?" said the dragon.

"What? I do like you, but it's not a date," she finally realized. "I didn't have anypony to go with, so I asked you to go to the Dance because you are one of my friends."

Again, Twilight and Spike joined together and fell onto their backs on the floor, sighing in relief like they never would again.

"Thank Celestia and Luna!" Spike laughed. "I thought you were in love with me, so did Twilight, but it's so much better!"

For that brief moment, they all laughed together and it seemed like the universe was right again. Rarity came in to see them in laughing fits, a little taken aback and assuming she came in right after Fluttershy said a funny joke. She had to find out about that joke later...

However, not long after harmony was restored, everypony's world would come crashing in.

It all started with a certain trio of fillies watching from a certain bedroom, hearing every word with full intent. When they found out that Spike didn't really have feelings for Fluttershy, Sweetie Belle galloped down the stairs, screaming "SPIIIIIIIIKE!"

Spike had no idea what hit him as Sweetie Belle tackle hugged him, burying her head in his chest. "I knew it! You didn't ask Fluttershy out on a date after all! Isn't this great? We can go together!"

"What is going on?" he screamed, gasping in sheer terror.

"Sweetie Belle!" Rarity shrieked. "Get off Spike Wikey right now!"

"But I love him!"

Seriously, Spike just couldn't catch a break to save his life. He gasped in surprise and looked at the filly lying on top of him, holding him as tightly as possible. Out of all the ponies to have a crush on me...her?

Rarity dropped her jaw in complete surprise, Fluttershy fainted as she thought it was too adorable, and her body kicked in before her blood sugar shot up, and Twilight's eyes exploded in size. What the hay was she supposed to say to THIS?

Sweetie got off of him and offered a hoof to help. "I just find you so adorable, and you're the best dragon ever! Are you OK if I say I love you?" She didn't give him a chance to respond, kissing him on the cheek.

"WHAT? Sweetie Belle?" Twilight screamed, trying to wrap her head around it. "Spike? You have a crush on Spike? What? Sweetie? What? What?"

"You like ME?" Spike blushed, his cheeks redder than they had ever been. "But...I like Rarity."

"What, don't you know?" Sweetie Belle answered. "She's in love with--"

As if he wanted to make this the most awkward meeting of all time, Fancy Pants opened the door, arriving with a boutique of flowers of all kinds. "Hello, my lady. I took the pleasure to bring you--"

He looked around at the scene, and everypony was looking at him. The boutique had a blatant card with an overblown "For Rarity" message on it.

"Am I interrupting anything? I will step aside for the moment, please go as if I was never here." He dropped the flowers on the desk for Rarity, and left.

All eyes were on Rarity now, and she looked around in sheer terror as she looked at Spike, with puppy dog eyes that were starting to tear up.

"Just say it, Rarity. He needs to find out," Twilight whispered.

Rarity nodded and walked next to Spike, who was now in tears of his own, and sat down to his face level. "I'm sorry, Spike, but it's true. I am dating Fancy Pants, and I invited him to the Dance for that reason."

His eyes were tearing up, and Rarity wrapped a hoof around him in comfort, but he pushed it away. "I understand. He's got what I don't have--"

"Don't say that," Rarity shot back. "That doesn't mean I don't like you either. You are cute, like Sweetie Belle said, and you will always be my Spikey Wikey. But you're too young for this. I don't think you're ready for something like what Fancy and I have, and that is why we can't go out together. Do you understand?"

He nodded slowly, and stopped crying as much. "I understand. I'm too young, and I need to learn more about everything. We're still friends, right?"

She smiled, and gave him a kiss on his other cheek. "Yes, we're still friends. We will always be."

"Just don't let Fancy Pants hurt you, or he'll have to answer to me."

Rarity laughed at that, and wiped away what was left of Spike's tears. Sensing this would be a really bad time to say anything else, Sweetie Belle smiled and started to trot back to her bedroom.

"Wait," Spike stopped her. She turned around and tried her hardest to show that she was thrilled that he was still talking to her, trying to be sensitive to Spike's plight.

"What is it, Spike?" she answered.

"Are..." He gritted his teeth, and focused on the here and now. "Are you wanting to go with me...to the dance?"

That was it. Any signs of good taste had left, as she launched from the steps and aimed for Spike, glomping him to the floor. Once he was down on the ground again, she snuggled his cheeks and giggled the whole time. "Of course I want to go! You're the bestest coltfriend a filly could have!"

"Ow...thanks," Spike said, slurring his words together. "I...I do like you, but can you get off of me?"

"Oh yeah, sorry about that." She got him back to his feet, and immediately she went back to hugging him,

Coltfriend, Twilight shuddered. Somehow, I like this better than having Fluttershy go out with him, but I still feel ashamed about it.

"Well, this has been...interesting," she said. "Don't you think we should leave for lunch now, Spike?"

"Actually, I think I'm going to stay for a while," he answered. "I think Sweetie and I should get to know each other better."

Twilight groaned, seeing where this was going, and levitated Fluttershy's unconscious frame out the door. "Have fun, and tell me how it goes."

Rarity waived as they left, and watched as Sweetie grabbed Spike and took him upstairs to the rest of the Crusaders. Remembering that Fancy Pants was outside, she went outside the door to find that he was still waiting for her.

"I appreciate the flowers, Fancy Pants," she said longingly. "It's great to see you again, love."

"Yes, it's always a pleasure," he responded, lifting one of her hooves and kissing it. "But I dare say, what happened in there? I saw one of your friends leave with a snoring pegasus. Was everything all right?"

She looked at the ground, with what happened still running through her mind, but looked back up to Fancy Pants. "Yes it was. It was weird and unexpected in times, but it went well. I imagine you're coming with me to the Palace Dance?"

"Of course, my lady. I can't wait to see what you'll be wearing there, I'm sure your newest dress is bound to impress. Shall we go off for lunch?"

"You always know what to say, Fancy Pants."

-------------------

After FINALLY getting Fluttershy's heavier than expected frame home, Twilight opened the door to her house, and collapsed into the floor. This was madness. This was even worse than being paired with Cheerilee. This was shipping at its finest. And she still had no idea how to respond to it.

She rolled around and looked straight up at the ceiling, the shelves spinning around in her view. How was she supposed to know Sweetie Belle had a crush on Spike? And worse yet, he was willing to find out how it went with each other?

Was this what ponies do when they're in love? Act as crazy as Sweetie Belle when she became a pony rocket TWICE?

There was only one solution to the craziness, and that was a Daring Do book. Nothing else mattered, all she needed was to go to the jungle in a fedora and the problem will solve itself.

She went to the fiction shelf and pulled the third book in the series, Daring Do and the Temple of Diamonds. It was as good as any in the series, so she climbed into bed and started to read.

It was a long and difficult trek up the snowy mountains for Daring Do, as the howling winds went down to hit her in the face, and she couldn't use her wings because the winds were so strong.

To make things worse, the snow on the mountainside was so unstable, that one false step could create an avalanche, one big enough to spell the end of our adventurer.

Yet she pushed through, body shivering, as she had to stay one step ahead of the gryphon adventurer Krio, as he threatened to use the Temple's riches to fund his evil plan to invade Equestria.

Soon, she found cover inside a cave, and there was Spike inside. "I have always loved you, Spikey Wikey--"

Twilight pulled back and blinked. The last paragraph was a figment of her imagination, but every time she tried to keep reading, she kept hallucinating and thought of Spike and Sweetie Belle again.

She gave up soon after, and put the book away. Before she could find that book on medieval Equestrian history, she heard a knock on the door. Twilight went downstairs to see who it was, and noticed the knocking was on a low level, meaning it was either a filly or Spike at the door.

When she opened it, it was the dragon with a letter in his hand. "I'm still going to be at Sweetie Belle's, but I got a letter from Luna. It's for you, so I thought you should have it now instead of later."

Twilight levitated the letter down to her back, before returning to Spike. "How's it going with you and Sweetie Belle?"

He giggled a little. "Wonderful. Once you get to know her, she's adorable and beautiful and--"

"So you like her then."

Spike couldn't get a word in, blushing a lot and shrugging.

"Then go ahead and spend some more time with her!"

She shut the door, fearful that even her best assistant might turn into another lovebird. And she couldn't believe it all started with Spike being a good friend to Fluttershy. Sometimes, good deeds can backfire in the most beautiful ways.

The unicorn went for her desk and unraveled the letter, reading over the letter from Princess Luna. It seemed to be formal in design, so she thought it might be something about business or an update on Shining and Cadence.Instead, it was this:

To a fair Twilight Sparkle,

As thee might know by know, we will attend the Ponyville Palace Dance in person. This premiere event will mark our first public appearance in Ponyville since Nightmare Night, and we wish to make a better impression than before.

Therefore, we request that you, Twilight Sparkle, one of the Elements of Harmony, to attend as well, and act as our assistant for the festivities. All needed resources thee might need will be provided as demanded, to make the appearance as painless as it should be.

We await to meet you there, and good luck.

Signed,
Luna
The Princess of the Night

It seemed harmless enough to Twilight when she read it. Being an assistant to a princess in person again seemed like a great opportunity, and it seemed like it could be fun.

So she wrapped up the letter, and wrote one of her own for Spike to deliver:

To Princess Luna,

Thanks so much for this chance. Everypony here has grown to like you since Nightmare Night, so don't worry about making a good impression. You're fine as you are.

Anyways, all I'll need for the Dance is a new dress. Rarity looks like she's going to be busy up to the day, so could you have your subjects make one for me, please?

Extra please,
Twilight Sparkle

She made another trip to the Boutique, and pulled Spike off of Sweetie long enough to deliver the letter. She sighed, and went back to the house, thanking Celestia the worst was over.

Almost, but not quite. It was going to get better before it was all said and done.