• Published 11th Jan 2018
  • 5,349 Views, 123 Comments

Spike Finds Love At Last - Soothing Stone

After Rarity has settled down with somepony else, Spike turns to Twilight for dating advice with girls. Things get more complicated from there.

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Practice Makes...Well, Not Perfect, But...Maybe Not So Bad?

Well, that was the best night’s sleep in weeks for Spike. He figured he would be a mess, or have some really bad dreams or even worse, but it turned out to be a peaceful and deep sleep. He assumed it was because his love life actually had a direction for the first time in years. That was a feeling he missed dearly.

Yet, he wasn’t sure what to make of the future with his training, or what exactly Twilight meant by “the dates being more like real ones” as time went on. It weighed on his mind frequently as he did his morning routine. He looked at the mirror when he was brushing his teeth, and for the first time in a while, he didn’t see a loser. No, he saw a dragon ready to move on with his life, and today was another day to work towards his big goal.

Spike fetched himself a short sleeved black shirt, with some khaki shorts to go along with it. It was kinda weird when he thought about his clothing situation. He started wearing clothes a few years ago to feel more comfortable around other ponies, but he never took to wearing shoes, as they always felt uncomfortable to his claws. Perhaps that was the one part of his dragon nature that never changed with time.

After a quick bowl of cereal to tide himself over until lunch, he kept true to his word and stepped into the throne room. However, he was surprised to see that he beat Twilight to the punch, as the room was empty. Maybe she just needed more time to prepare. She was always good at that.

In the meantime, he took a seat in his old throne by the map. It was nice that Twilight found a way to make his spot by the map bigger, so he would feel more at home as he grew up. A few minutes passed and there was still no purple alicorn to be found. He whistled and dangled his legs over the floor, groaning at the wait. “Come on, it can’t be that big of a deal. What’s taking you so long?”

As if she could hear him, Twilight opened one of the doors and came in with a bag draped over her shoulder. With a blue casual dress, she was more than ready for the day, and she had the biggest smile as she sat down at her respective throne.

“Good morning, Spike! You must be really eager if you got here before me. How are you feeling?”

“Okay, I guess. Hey, I just realized something. I came to you first for advice, but it hit me that Cadence knows a lot about love. Like, that’s why she has her cutie mark. So why did I come to you first?”

“Huh. You’re actually right.” Twilight took a moment to get over her mental mistake on that one. “You know what, if this fails, you should go to her and ask her for advice. She’s probably way more qualified. But I guess you came to me first because you’re closer to me, that and she lives all the way in the Crystal Empire. Even if you fly, it’s way away from here. Still, thanks for asking me first. I’ll try my best to do this right.”

“No problem. I guess I’m ready to begin when you are.”

“Excellent. So, I kept true to my word and made this date more like a real one.”

Spike looked around the place to see her point. “Um, Twilight, this place looks like it always has. You know, cool crystal table that doubles as a map of Equestria, seven seats, tree roots from your old place, same old, same old.”

“That’s just the beginning. See, there was this spell I learned last year that I thought I would never need, but when I was thinking about this next part, I realized it was just what we needed.” She closed her eyes and concentrated, as her horn glowed bright with magical energy. The air around the windows crackled as she got to work, closing any doors that might still be open to help with her idea.

The whole room was full of energy, and when she deployed the spell, the windows looked very different out of the blue. Rather than showing the morning sky, it looked like Luna just raised the moon outside, with dazzling stars illuminating a pitch black sky, with the beauty of the moonlight coming in. It changed the entire look of the room as a result. The gems on the tree roots planted on the ceiling shone with the reflection of the stars, and the room got a lot darker. It was almost like the room was covered in candles now.

With the spell in place, Twilight wiped the sweat off her face. It was a rather demanding spell after all. “It’s an illusionary spell. You can make it look like it’s nighttime when you look out the window, but it’s still daytime in reality. What do you think?”

Spike’s jaw was on the floor. He flew up to one of the windows to see if he was seeing things right. It really did look like it was after sunset out there, but when he brought his head out the window, the illusion was shattered and he saw the morning sky as he did before. Bringing his head back inside brought the image back to life.

“That’s one of the coolest things you’ve ever done!” he gawked, amazed as he flew back down to his seat. “You should write a book on it when you get the chance.”

“I can’t. That was Starswirl’s idea. He used it as another way to fool an enemy, should he ever need it. That said, I thought it would be great for today, because I learned that a lot of ponies go out on dates in the evening. So, after thinking about it, my big idea was to use that spell so it would feel almost like a candlelight dinner in here.”

“Yeah, I see what you mean. I’m just...how did you do that?”

“Practice. Lots and lots of practice. You know what they say, practice makes perfect!” she squeaked.

“Maybe.” Gonna take a lot of practice for me to get this right. “What’s in that bag of yours, anyway?”

“Oh, this thing?” Twilight had completely forgotten she had the bag at all. She opened it up and looked inside to make sure everything was in there. “It’s some materials I made last night to help get the illusion even closer to the real thing. Next time we do this, they’ll be real.”

Spike was curious what was in the bag and what she could mean by that, until he recalled her previous experience with crafting stuff. And sure enough, she pulled out a bunch of hastily made paper plates to the table, along with pieces of paper with wine glasses scribbled--more like vomited upon--on them.

“You’re going for a dinner date with this, right?” he said, trying his best not to laugh at the cute nature of this ‘date’.

“Exactly. That’s always a classic among lovebirds. Shining and Cadence must have gone to a million of them before he popped the question.” She handed Spike a plate and ‘glass’, and gave one of each to herself. “Before we begin, you have any more questions?”

Spike took a look at his surroundings, really soaking in the mother of all illusionary spells on the windows,, along with the less impressive dining ware in front of him. “Well, I can definitely say you tried your hardest with all this. Let’s go ahead and get started.”

“That’s just what I wanted to hear!” She clapped her hands and rubbed them together. “Let’s begin the second practice date...now.” She paused for dramatic effect. “Now that we’ve begun, let’s cover the next part of your training. If you’ve taken your crush out on a date, you had a good reason for it, right? LIke, there was a reason you had feelings for her?”

“I guess so. I would have to be pretty into her if I asked her out on a date like this.”

“In this case, it might just help if you remind your date why you have feelings for her in the first place. In other words, tell her why you like-like her.”

“You know, that sounds like something real ponies do all the time.” He coughed up a lung to clear his throat. “Hey, I just wanted to let you know that you’re really beautiful. Some ponies might say you’re not a knockout, but yeah, they’re wrong.”

“Good, good. Keep going.”

“Alright. You’re not just beautiful, either. You’re really smart and think on your feet like it’s nothing. That’s really hard to do.”

“Excellent. Just one more time and I think we’re finished.”

“Heh, you know, with all those things you do, no wonder you’ve saved Equestria so many--” He stopped in his tracks when he realized where he was going with it. He turned around for a moment in embarrassment, his cheeks turning bright red.

Twilight stopped in her tracks as well, her eyes widening a bit from what she just heard. “Okay, that was, um, weird. But you passed with flying colors. If you say you have feelings for your date before you go too far with things, you’ll be off on the right foot. What you think about that?”

Spike, what were you thinking? This was just supposed to be a casual thing, and then you took it way too personal. You were supposed to come up with generic compliments, and then say ACTUAL compliments about her? Just get over it and get your mind back in the game. “That’s a good idea. I’m sure this will come in handy,” he stated calmly, using a claw to wipe the sweat off his forehead before she could see it. “It’s your turn now. I know you’re using this for dating practice, too.”

Twilight tried to brush it off again with a hand wave. “Oh come on, you know I’m fine. This is all about you, like it should be.”

“Really, Twilight? You know you could use the help. Go on, give it a shot, and we’ll see how it goes.”

“Alright, fine. Let’s see...well, you’re smart and funny?”

Spike shook his head. “Heard that a million times. Keep trying, though.”

“Come on, Twilight, you got this!” She thought long and hard about her next words. “You’re really cute for a guy?”

“Ehhh, I’ll give you a point for trying. You’re getting closer.”

Twilight felt relieved that she was getting there. “Thanks, Spike. Okay, how about, maybe, you’re really nice, very kind to everypony you know, and I think you could be a good father?”

She was greeted with a polite clap. “That’s good. I’m not kidding, either. You finally got there, and you weren’t even close when you pulled that ‘smart and funny’ line. That’s a lot of distance in just a minute. How do you feel now?”

“Like I finally got out of this bubble I’ve been stuck in for years,” she admitted. “Is this how you felt when we started?”

“Yeah, kind of. It’s not easy to get out of the bubble, believe me, but once you’re out of it, it feels like a huge weight has been taken off your chest.”

Twilight squeaked in glee. “That’s wonderful. I guess we can cross that part off the list.” She got out the notepad from the bag and looked it over. “Next part is going back to what I’ve been teaching you already, just to make sure you’ve got the hang of it. You ready for some more small talk?”

“Yeah, why not.” He adjusted his collar, as it was starting to feel hot in here for him. “You got any idea for it this time?”

“Yeah, actually.” She looked down at the table quietly. “Did you mean what you said about me?”

Spike stood silent for a moment. “What do you mean?”

“I mean...when you said I was smart and beautiful. Did you mean that?”

A trickle of sweat went down the side of his face. “Well...I mean...I want to say…”

“Please don’t feel like you have to hide anything to me. Just say what’s on your mind.”

“Okay, okay, I’ll come clean. To be honest, I was being honest with you. I mean, doesn’t everypony know you look good? It kinda comes with being a princess, even if you had it before you became an alicorn. I just never really thought about it. And the other thing, how smart you are? That’s just a given. Everypony knows you’re smart, just like they know there’s no Santa Hooves.”

“Right, right. I just had a feeling you had more to say, but if that’s it, we’re okay. I’m sorry if I made it awkward.”

“Hey, I’m the one that should be apologizing. I’m the one that made it really awkward, and I knew it when I said those things. Can you forgive me.”

“Absolutely. No harm, no foul.”

Spike sighed in relief. “Thank goodness. So we should probably go back to our small talk, right?”

“Right. You know, I did want to thank you for volunteering to help me out, too.”

“No problem. It’s no big deal or anything for me.”

“Exactly. Don’t take it for granted, though. You’ve been a really big help through the years. You’re probably the best helper in Equestria.”

Now he was blushing for another reason. “Like I’ve really done anything that big with my life. Well, other than that time I saved the Crystal Empire. That was just me being awesome.”

“And then there was that time you stayed with me after we visited the seaponies and I had that big freakout. When all my other friends couldn’t look me in the eye, you were still there, even if I didn’t deserve it.”

“Um, Twilight? What are you doing?”

“Then there was that time you went to the Dragon Lands to participate in the Gauntlet of Fire, just to keep Equestria safe. You would have stayed there permanently if it was the right thing to do to keep us safe.”

“Twilight, hello? You’re weirding me out.”

“No wonder you have a statue in the Crystal Empire. You’re practically a legend!”

He snapped his fingers in front of her face. “Twilight!”

“Huh? Oh, Spike, I’m so sorry,” she pleaded. “Did I ruin this whole thing for you?”

“No, but you were acting weird for a while there. Are you okay?”

“Yes, I’m fine. Maybe we should just call it a day for now. I think you’ve learned a lot today, so it’s not like we need to cover more ground or anything.”

“Okay. Thanks for everything. It really did help, but I think it might help if we kept moving forward with this, and not think too much about what happened today.”

“Absolutely, and the next practice date will have you talking to another mare.”

That was just the news he wanted to hear. “Perfect. I don’t know how this is going to work, but yeah, that sounds fine. I had some chores I needed to do in the first place. You know, help Derpy move a huge shipment of mail and stuff.”

“You go ahead and do that. I’ll get you tonight for the next session. If you’re wondering, don’t worry about the mare you talk to. I’ll make sure it’s somepony you’re very familiar with, and she should be happy to do this.”

“Alright. I’ll see you later, Twilight.”

He left the throne room as soon as he could, making a beeline to the post office. He met up with Derpy, who was always happy to have a hand around there, and he started moving some mail for her. It was his way out of that situation with Twilight when he desperately needed one. There was no way he wanted to stay in that place when he said those things, and with her making the same mistake.

Yet, he couldn’t help but dwell on the compliments he said while he was in the middle of dropping off packages throughout town. Everything he said to Twilight, it really was sincere. She was a beautiful, smart mare that either saved or helped save Equestria many times. It was almost a shocker that she was still single. She was perfect for somepony out there. Come to think of it, was there more to what he said to her?

Of course not. It’s not like what he said was news or anything. A lot of ponies considered Twilight cute or heroic. Name a positive trait that could describe a pony, and it likely fit her to a tee. This was nothing to worry about. He just had to let it go, return to the castle for the next practice date, and things would feel normal.

What he didn’t count on, though, was the way Twilight handled things in the map room. She looked over her notes for the course again, making sure she didn’t make an error with it. She had very mixed emotions, to put it lightly. On one hand, she couldn’t have been more proud of Spike’s progress so far. He was taking baby steps along the way, and before he knew it, he would know how to ask out any mare he had interest in.

On the other hand, she was beginning to doubt if she was the one that should be teaching Spike. Even if she didn’t intend to do so, this course was helping her overcome her own awkwardness, too. This was all about Spike, and he should be the one learning from this. But why did she have to say all those things about him to his face? And would he even want to come back after this?

In the end of the day, she knew what he knew: She was being transparent with him. She made a lot of close friends ever since moving to Ponyville, but Spike was different. He was there with her ever since he hatched from his egg, and they were inseparable ever since then. The other Elements were wonderful ponies, deserving of the credit they earned, but they did leave her a few times over the years. He never did. Not to mention, he was kinda cute after he grew up--

Nope. No more entertaining those ideas and thoughts.

She pushed her issues aside and left the confines of the castle. This next date would need somepony new. That way, Spike would know how to talk to somepony that wasn’t Twilight, and she knew just the pony to do the job. She just hoped that this certain pink pony wouldn’t destroy the castle along the way. It wouldn’t be the first time that happened.

Author's Note:

And so the plot thickens...oh, and major thanks to all who supported the story at launch. That means a lot to me, and I couldn't be happier with the response so far.