• Published 28th Aug 2012
  • 5,742 Views, 241 Comments

Me, You, and a Library for Two - Dull Mist

A story about a stallion meeting his childhood crush for the first time in years.

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Silver Quill was currently in the process of having what had to be the strangest dream he’s ever had.

He was in a forest, one that looked familiar, but he couldn’t place where he’s seen it before. He was running, no, he was sprinting through the forest as fast as his hooves could take him, but he didn’t feel any strain of exertion. He didn’t feel anything, only fear.

As he tore through the undergrowth, there was a loud, constant rumbling noise behind him. It sounded as though a mountain that had suddenly become bored with its view of the world and decided to slide along the ground until it found somewhere new and suitable. Silver Quill didn’t know what it was, or if he needed to even run from it, but it was better to be safe than sorry. So he ran.

He noticed the forest getting continuously darker and darker as he moved closer and closer to whatever his destination was. He could just see the sun moving in the sky through the canopy of leaves overhead, but it was moving much faster than usual. The farther and farther he ran, the more it lowered, soon disappearing beyond the horizon to be replaced by a crescent moon.

He broke through a wall of densely packed evergreen trees into a clearing, pine needles and sap sticking to his coat. As soon as he stepped into the open area, the rumbling noise stopped completely. The sudden lack of sound jarred him, and he looked around frantically as his ears got used to the newfound silence.

Fireflies buzzed lazily through the moonlit air, their small bright lights looking like small dancing stars on the backdrop of flora. Wildflowers of purple and white grew all around, their petals gently floating in the air as he walked through them, as though taken by wind that wasn’t there. There was a pond set in the middle, next to which a single weeping willow tree stood guard, its hanging leaves gently caressing the surface of the water.

Silver Quill’s panic and fear at being chased by an inexplicable, earthquake like rumbling noise disappeared to be replaced by quiet calmness. He recognized this place. It was the clearing in the forest in Canterlot where he would always go to escape civilization, where he would go to be alone with only his thoughts to keep him company. This was the place that he was most comfortable at. This was a place where he could not be afraid.

But something was slightly off. The pond, usually lit up only by the light of the moon and stars, was unnaturally bright. It looked as though bright white light was coming from inside of it and permeated the surface on slightly. He stopped walking.

He felt uneasy. This place was one of stability and comfort to him, and any discrepancy, no matter how minor, made him feel nervous. He put one hoof in front of the other, and slowly approached the pond.

As he got closer, his ears flicked as he became aware of a gentle hum that echoed from the water. He recognized it to be the sound of a cello, deep and rich with emotion. There wasn’t any tune to it, it was just a single drawn out note, but it affected Silver Quill in a strangely personal way, as though it were speaking to him.

He felt like the sound somehow entered his body and fused itself with his very soul. He could feel it thrumming inside of him, even though it wasn’t that loud. The deep, rich tone pervaded all of his senses. He smelled the musky smell of old books, tasted the dry taste of a dusty wind, felt paper gently caressing his skin, his vision flickered, like the light of a candle flame, and above it all, he heard the somber cello sound that pulsed through him.

He stepped up to the edge of the water. Peering through the depths, he could see a bright ball of silver light. It gave the water an almost gaseous look, as the light itself looked as though it was gently whirling through it.

He smiled, the light was very pretty. He liked the light, it made him feel comfortable. It reassured him, told him everything was going to be alright, and beckoned him. Silver Quill closed his eyes, and without realizing what he was doing, fell forward into the water.

His eyes still closed, and a small smile still on his face, he plummeted downwards, into the depths of the comforting light.

Silver woke with a start. His eyes snapped open and he gasped as his hooves flailed madly throughout the air, sending his blanket into disarray. He sat up in his bed wide eyed, and looked around.

His breathing slowly calmed as he forced himself to relax when he realized there was no danger. He was in the room Twilight Sparkle had given to him, and he was alone. He sighed wearily.

“I must have had too many of those cupcakes last night.” He thought to himself. Shaking his head, he climbed out of bed and began to remake it, straightening out the blanket and setting it neatly on the mattress.

“But they sure were good though.” He mused. He had to hand it to Pinkie Pie; she knows her way around a kitchen.

He finished making the bed and stood silently in the room for a moment. He narrowed his eyes as he thought.

“What in the name of the Sisters was that dream about?”

He pondered the nature of the strange images that passed through his head while he slept, but was interrupted when his eyes slid over to the mirror. His mane was frayed and knotted in ways that he hadn’t seen since his university days when he had to pull all nighters, and his coat was more scruffy than it usually was in the morning.

“I must have been tossing and turning all night if I look like this.”

His horn flared gently as he unzipped a side pocket on his saddlebags that were sitting on the desk, and withdrew a brush and comb. He began to comb out the knots in his mane, wincing as he did so, and set the brush to sorting out his frazzled coat.

After a little bit more thinking, he dismissed the dream from his mind as he put the brush and comb back in their pocket. Dreams are supposed to be weird, he figured.

He opened the door to his room and walked down the hallway to the stairs leading to the first floor of the library/house. He could just make out the cheery smell of pancakes wafting through the house, and his stomach rumbled eagerly. The words of his mother who loved to cook as much as Silver loved to read came to mind. “Any day that starts with a good breakfast ends with a smile!” she would say, smiling at him while wearing her bright pink, stained apron.

The barest hint of a smile touched his mouth. "Good times, good times."

He made his way down the stairs and heard Spike and Twilight talking. They were just making small talk, talking about the weather, about the last night, about what the plans for today were, and whatnot.

Twilight noticed him first as Spike was busy in front of the stove, adding more pancakes to a plate with a stack of them beside on the counter.

“Good morning Silver,” she called. “Did you have a nice sleep?” Spike turned around and waved a claw at him in greeting. Silver smiled back.

“Good morning Twilight, Spike. I slept well enough, despite a rather strange dream.”

Twilight tilted her head as she took a sip from a cup of sweet smelling tea held in her magical grasp. “What was it about?”

Silver shook his head. “I don’t even know, everything and nothing, I guess. It was really too weird to make heads or tails out of it.”

She nodded knowingly and took another sip from her cup. Silver’s attention was brought back to Spike as he flipped a pancake in the air that flipped twice and landed on the plate, already filled with the fluffy flapjacks. He picked up the plate and a bottle of syrup and some utensils, and placed them on the table Twilight was sitting at. She eagerly floated a few of them on the plate sitting in front of her.

Silver’s focus was snapped away from the food as a loud rumbling echoed through the kitchen. It took him a few seconds to realize it was his stomach voicing its displeasure at not being appeased.

Spike looked at him with a knowing smirk. “You hungry Silver?” he asked with repressed amusement.

Silver felt heat rush up to his face as Twilight giggled at his embarrassment. He cleared his throat in an attempt to dispel some of the tension that he felt. “I…think I’m feeling a bit peckish, yes.”

“Yeah, I’ll bet you are.” Spike said with a snort. He gestured to one of the two empty chairs at the table Twilight was sitting at, both of which had empty plates, utensils, and glasses of orange juice in front them. “Go ahead and dig in.”

Silver nodded gratefully at the dragon as he sat down and levitated some pancakes to his plate. He drizzled syrup over them, and then set to work shoveling them into his mouth as fast as he could without embarrassing himself.

Spike sat down in the chair between him and Twilight and got his own food. He looked at Silver expectantly.

“I’m gonna take a guess and say that you like it?” He said, his tone of voice making it more of a question then a statement.

Silver took a long drag from his glass of orange juice, then nodded in Spike’s direction.

“I haven’t had pancakes this good since I started living on my own. Where in Equestria did you learn to cook like this?”

Spike, evidently pleased with his compliment if the slight giggle that escaped was any indication, merely shrugged.

“I had to learn how to cook food for Twilight; otherwise she would gowhole 3 days without food. As much as she loves her books, she needs more than just books to keep her alive; no matter what she says, so I took it upon myself to make sure she gets three square meals a day.” He took a bite of pancake and grinned at him. “It also helps that cooking is pretty fun.” he said as he chewed.

Twilight’s cheeks reddened slightly as she swatted Spike on the shoulder. “Oh hush you, I never said that I only needed books to live.”

Spike laughed as he fended off her half hearted attack on him and smirked at her. “You didn’t have too.”

Twilight only rolled her eyes in exasperation and went back to her breakfast. They ate in comfortable silence for a few more moments before Silver Quill broke the silence.

“So, is there anything planned today?” he asked nobody in particular.

Twilight and Spike looked at each other, and then back at him. “Not really, Spike and I were just going to do some work around the library, organizing, taking inventory, that sort of stuff. Is there anything you’d like to do?” Twilight asked curiously.

Silver breathed a sigh of relief. “No actually, I was wondering if today was going to be as eventful as yesterday. It’s been so long since I’ve spent an entire day in the company of other ponies, especially ones as lively as you and your friends, so I was hoping to relax today.”

Twilight chuckled, and nodded knowingly. “Aha, I know the feeling.” She sighed and leaned on her two hooves, smiling wistfully. “I was so frazzled when I first came to Ponyville because of all the…energy in the air; I barely had my hooves underneath me the entire time.”

Silver looked back down at his food and chuckled. “Yeah, that’s pretty much me in a nut shell right now.”

He looked up at Twilight and smiled contentedly. “I’m looking forward to a day of mental relaxation. I’ll probably just grab a book and spend the day reading.” He took a sip of his orange juice and looked up at her pointedly over the rim of the cup. “After I lend a hoof with your work, that is.”

Twilight looked taken aback. A curt shake of her head that sent her long, straight mane swaying told him that she was not very fond of the idea.

“Oh no no no, you don’t need to help me. You came here to relax and to get you head back in order; I can’t ask you to do work.” She smiled at him reassuringly. “You can spend the day doing whatever it is you want.”

Silver matched her friendly eyes with his own determined ones. “No can do Twilight.” he said resolutely. “If I’m going to be staying her for a while, I’m going to at least try to pull my weight. If that means helping you with your duties and doing a few chores here and there, then so be it.”

Twilight opened her mouth to protest, but he cut her off before she could say anything. “Sorry, Twilight, but it isn’t up for debate. I’d hate to stay here knowing that I was just freeloading off of you.”

Twilight examined him, still looking uncertain. After a few moments, Spike chimed in with his own opinion.

“Aw, c’mon Twilight, let the guy help out if he really wants to. It’ll make our work go by much faster, and that means that I can get some more sleep!” He looked back and forth from Twilight to Silver with a grin on his face. “It’s a win-win!”

Twilight rolled her eyes dramatically. “Honestly Spike, is there anything that you ever think about besides sleep?”

Spike gave a noncommittal shrug, “To be honest Twilight, there’s not much more for me to think about.”

A smirk crept onto her face as her eyes narrowed deviously. “You sure about that Spike? That’s not the impression that I got yesterday when you were dancing with a broomstick while singing about ‘the most beautiful gem in all of Equestria.’ What was her name again? Oh yeah, it was Ra-“

“Alright alright, I get the point!” Spike had stood up on his chair in his anxiousness to interrupt Twilight, and a heavy blush was reddening his face, making his head look like a ripe tomato.

He grabbed his empty dishes and hopped down from the chair, bringing them to the sink to be washed. “Sheesh” Silver heard him mutter. “Some ponies just don’t know when to stop…”

Twilight suppressed a self satisfied smile as she resumed eating. Silver Quill decided that it would be best to not comment. He didn’t want to embarrass the poor guy any more.

Twilight and Silver finished up the rest of their breakfast and got ready to work. Twilight debriefed him on what the work schedule of the day was. First, they would be reshelving the books, putting them back in proper order. After that, Twilight had some books whose covers were damaged and needed to be repaired, so she was going to fix the bindings on them and make them presentable again. Lastly, she had to peruse through the inventory, making sure that every book was accounted for and that nothing was misplaced.

Twilight, at Silver’s questioning, explained her organization system to be ones that most libraries had, Sorted by categories and alphabetized by author. Silver Quill, quite used to organizing his own, and dare he say, impressive collection of books in this manner, went straight to work.

They started on opposite sides of the library and moved clockwise to ensure that they don’t organize a section that the other had already been through. They chatted amicably as they worked, keeping each others company. Spike meanwhile, was doing other, more rudimentary chores, washing dishes, cleaning windows, dusting off the shelves, and the like.

]“Hey Twilight…” Silver quill called to her while she was looking over a bookshelf marked Romance. Her ears perked at the sound, but she didn’t look up.


“What kind of books, other than textbooks and other ones meant for learning do you like to read?” She looked up at him as she made a space between two books on the top row of the shelf she was at and inserted the one she was holding in the gap.

Silver was caught off guard, and flinched slightly as he made eye contact with her. “Goddess above, she should need a warrant to bring those eyes out into public, they’re downright dangerous.”

He looked shyly back at the bookshelf that he was in the process of organizing and tried to ignore the sudden feeling of weakness in his knees. “What I mean is, what do you read for fun? Any particular genre that you’re fond of?” he clarified, trying to make his voice sound as not weak as possible.

Twilight smiled softly, almost wistfully as she looked back at the bookshelf. “Well,” she said lightly, “I’ve always been rather fond of mysteries. The more complicated, the better.”

Silver looked back at her curiously now that her dangerous eyes were safely pointed in another direction and he didn’t run the risk of making an idiot of himself. “Why’s that?”

Her smile grew wider. “Heh, what I like most about mysteries is putting myself in the detectives hooves and trying to solve the mystery myself. The more difficult the mystery is, the more fun it is to solve it before the detective in the story does, although I don’t always manage to.”

She turned to him and smiled sheepishly. “Kinda weird huh?”

Silver shook his head, hiding his amusement at her question. “Not at all, I think it’s quite impressive.” Twilight raised her eyebrows at this, and he continued. “I haven’t read that many mystery novels, but whenever I did, I never came close to finding the answer to whatever was being questioned, no matter how hard I tried.” He looked at her deadpan. “I knew you were smart, but I didn’t realize that smart.”

Twilight giggled, and a rosy tint colored her cheeks briefly before vanishing. “Why thank you Silver, that’s kind of you to say.”

“It’s the truth.” He replied simply.

With one last smile at him, Twilight and Silver went back to their work, finishing it in about half an hour. Once they were done, Twilight got out the books that were damaged and a small wooden box that held the tools she needed to repair them. There wasn’t much Silver could do to help her at this point, what with him not knowing the first thing about book binding, so he just let Twilight work while he observed.

He couldn’t help his attention wandering, much as he tried to. From the way her tongue stuck out in concentration as she carefully maneuvered the tools with her magic, to the way her hooves twitched slightly as she levitated them from one direction to another, almost as though she was orchestrating their aerial movement.

He forced his gaze away from her and to the book she was in the process taking the cover off to be replaced with another. He breathed deeply to clear his troublesome mind, and focused on the way she worked, hoping to maybe learn something new that he could use to fix his own books that could do with a little makeover.

After a few moments, he noticed the needle she was using to attach the pages to their new cover started moving sluggishly. When it started to repeatedly bump against the half sewn on book cover, he looked at her to see what was distracting her from her work.

He and Twilight were both surprised, him to find her staring at him, and her to be caught staring at him. She blushed heavily, muttered a quick apology, and quickly got back to binding.

She finished up quickly, shoved her tools into their case, and haphazardly shoved into her desk drawer. Silver Quill sensed a strange anxiety in her, although he couldn’t fathom his origins. He was about to say something, ask her if there was anything wrong, when she turned back to face him. She looked like her normal self again, with not a hint of her anxiety showing, so Silver decided to drop the issue.

“I’ll just put these away and we can go on to taking inventory.” She said.

Silver nodded as the pile of books on her desk were lifted in the air by her telekinetic grasp and floated off into their respective bookcases. She then picked up a folder that was sitting on her desk and opened it, levitating half of the papers and a quill to Silver.

“This is a list of all the books in the library. It’s ordered the same way that the books are, so we just need to make sure that every book is accounted for and in its place.” She explained.

“Gotcha.” Silver replied, and with that, they quickly went around the room, making sure that everything that was supposed to be there was there. They didn’t talk this time, instead working in companionable silence.

Silver’s thoughts drifted away from what he was doing and he unconsciously started thinking about the way she was staring at him earlier. He tried, but couldn’t figure out what it meant. She had been staring at him with an unusually intense look, one he hadn’t seen on her before. In the brief moment their eyes had met before she turned away, he could have sworn that she was staring into his very soul.

Since all the books were already in order, Twilight and Silver Quill finished in only 20 minutes. Everything that was supposed to be there was, and with that, they were finished.

Twilight let out a satisfied sigh as she passed her gaze around the room. Everything was as clean as a whistle and in the spot it was supposed to be, just the way she liked it. She looked over to Silver Quill, who was idly browsing the Fantasy/Sci-Fi section, muttering to himself as he lightly passed his hoof over the spines of the books.

Twilight’s words died in her mouth. She stared at Silver Quill with her mouth hanging open slightly. The way he gingerly took out a book and ever so gently opened it so as not to damage the spine fascinated her for reasons she could not comprehend. She felt her heart flutter slightly, and she briefly wondered if she was coming down with something, but dismissed that idea. She was only broken out of her reverie when she heard footsteps descending the stairs.

Spike let out an impressed whistle as he looked around. “Wow Twilight, you guys are done already? That was like, 5 times shorter than it normally would take you. I didn’t even get a chance to help.”

Twilight violently shook her head, trying to bring herself back to her senses. She looked at her assistant who was standing at the base of the stairs and grinned at him.

“Actually Spike, it only took about half the time it usually would, otherwise we would have finished an hour ago.”

Spike shrugged his shoulders as he walked to the kitchen and started rummaging through the fridge. “Whatever you say Twilight.” He took out a big ripe peach and took a bite out of it as he looked back at her.

Spike squinted his eyes suddenly, as though he was trying to look through a dense fog. Twilight found herself under the scrutinizing gaze of the young dragon, and she also found that it made her quite uncomfortable.

“Hey Twilight, why’s your face so red?” He walked over to where Twilight was standing and reached up to put a claw over her forehead, all the while still munching on his peach. “Are you coming down with a fever?”

Twilight swatted his claw away with a huff. “I’m fine Spike, I’m not coming down with a fever.” She said indignantly. Spike merely shrugged, and popped the pit of the peach into his mouth, crushing it in his powerful jaws with a loud crack.

“If you say so Twilight. If you need me, I’ll be taking a nap.”

The baby dragon made his way back upstairs, leaving Twilight and Silver Quill alone. Silver had picked out a book from the Fantasy section and sat down in one of the armchairs scattered around the library for those who wanted to read in peace. He lightly licked the tip of his hoof as he flipped a page over.

Twilight looked around. She usually finished her work much later than this, and it was only midday, so she had to think of something to pass the time. She decided to take a page from Silver Quill’s book and picked a book at random from a nearby shelf.

She sat down with her book across from Silver Quill and settled down to read. Before she did however, she couldn’t help but notice something strange the way Silver was reading.

“Why don’t you use your magic to hold the book?” She inquired curiously. Silver looked up at her words and shrugged.

“This is how I've always done it. Besides, I like the feeling of the paper on my hooves.”

Twilight just nodded, and they both delved back into the world of literature while enjoying each others company. They didn’t speak to each other, they didn’t even acknowledge the others existence, but every now and then, the thought of the other would intrude into their minds and prevent them from reading one more word, as the alien thought was so overpowering, they could focus on nothing else but the pony sitting across from them.