• Published 7th Feb 2021
  • 1,123 Views, 42 Comments

Scales and Sweets - SilverEyedWolf



After a couple of dates, Rarity tells Spike it's not going to happen. This is the fall-out.

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Stumbling Into a New Light

Author's Note:

So, who's ready for the next foray? I know I am. This one's going to be simpler, maybe shorter, definitely with a clearer goal in mind. Glad to see you back, at least once more :twilightsmile: :heart:
And I hope the journey is more pleasant this pass :yay:

Spike stumbled out of the wooden building, taking a couple of steps before scrunching his entire face and fumbling his way down the front with a paw trailing the solid wall. He paused when he reached the corner of the building, smacking his lips meditatively before bending himself in half and regurgitating the last night into the grass beside the walkway.

"Well, ya made it further than ah though' ya would."

Spike raised the paw not against the wall and lifted his middle digit back behind himself.

"Classy," the same baritone voice uttered as he heard hoofsteps walk up behind him before a large hoof gently patted him between his shoulder blades, between his wing joints. "Let the poison out."

Spike opened his maw to tell the stallion to buck off but found the words drowned out by the bile that crept over his tongue. Taking a breath, he shook his head.

"And stallions do that all the time, huh?" he whispered, before gagging again as he dry-heaved.

"Nah Spike, just special occasions," Big Mac said with a chuckle, patting the dragon's back again. "And ya went a little heavier than ya was ready for, ya know."

"Yeah," he muttered, wiping his chin with a wrist before straightening. "Well, we've only been kicked out 'a two places, righ'? Le's find the thir' one," he slurred, looking around and narrowing his eyes at the pink staining the sky to the east. "We still go' night lef'."

"You've had enough, now," Mac said sharply, frowning up at the drake's muzzle two hooves above his own. "I get you're hurtin', and ya need a bit'a release, but any more and you're gonna be havin' other problems. I ain't gonna watch ya poison yaself, and ah ain't gonna stand by and let ya do it either."

Spike opened his mouth to tell the stallion otherwise, but a wave of nausea and vertigo washed over his head.

"You may hav'a poin'," he murmured, sliding a paw over his eyes and groaning quietly. "Fine, no more booze. I need'a, need'a..."

His brain ground against itself for a moment, before he burped and said, "Need'a food, need'a snack. Some'n... bready."

Mac narrowed his eyes at the drake until Spike put a paw over his heart and lifted it to his shoulder. "Well, ah gotta get going to help AJ. Sugarcube Corner should be open'n soon if ya wanna head that way."

His eyes softened a bit.

"Get some sleep, righ'? Ya don' need ta be awake much longer than ya already have been."

He started to deny his need, but the scenery spun and he had to close his eyes and mouth. Instead of the truth, he just said, "I'll try."

Mac looked like he wanted to argue for a moment before he shook his head and shrugged. "Ya better." And with that he was off, walking down the lane and into the early morning twilight.

Muttering under his breath, Spike took a slow step down off of the walkway and into the street, his serpentine neck flexing as he looked both ways, stretching his flooded mental muscles to try and remember where the Tartarus the bakery was. After a moment his mind returned a 'Try Again Later' before returning to fuzz.

Shrugging, he turned towards the looming sunrise and started walking, keeping an eye out for the audacious building that played at looking like a gingerbread house at the height of Hearth's Warming.

Strangely, he found it.

Swaying up to the door, he placed his paw gently on the wooden frame around the clear glass and pressed forward as he stepped into the doorway.

Or, he would have, had the wood and the glass moved out of the way. As it was he just smashed his muzzle against the glass, jostling the black sign that told him the shop was closed at the moment. He got a great view of it up close before he fell back; his eyes stayed on the jolly white letters as he tilted on his heels like he was a book and the ground was the other half of his cover.

He laid there for a moment, not even in pain, just confused.

"Door?" he asked the sky. "Et tu, door? Was the first betrayal not enough? Did I need this one as well?"

He heard a jingling, then a hoofstep.

"Wow Spike, you nearly made it through!" A giggle sounded from the door that had just laid him low. "I've only gotten that close to making it, like, twice! Twice ever!"

"It's all a matter of belief," he said, reaching up with a paw and swiping at his nose. He glanced at the scarlet across the digit, before he dropped the limb into the dust of the street he was... Yeah, he was embedded in.

Great.

"So, you good?"

"Yeah, yeah yeah yeah," he said, waving a paw through the air before throwing both of his arms forward to try and peel himself off the road. He flexed his spine and tried again, with the same result of nothing. He tried a third time, letting out a long grunt, before flopping loosely on the ground.

"Hey, so, can I get a hoof up please?" he asked the lovely giggle, smiling a bit when he was given another sampling of just such a thing.

He heard a couple of steps and a large pink muzzle greeted his sight, along with its signature fairy floss puff of hair and vibrant smile under deep blue eyes. He smiled up at her, and the grin evaporated.

"Whew Spike, you smell like the trashcan outside of a distillery! What did you do last night, take a bath in hops?"

"There may have been a tub involved, but I'm pretty sure that I just drank it," he said, chuckling after a moment. "Or maybe just from it." He then frowned. "Hopefully just from it."

Pinkie Pie giggled, covering her muzzle and closing her eyes until she finished a moment after.

"Made your way around town, huh?" she asked, her smile sad now. "We heard about it from R-r-r... From her. I'm sorry Spike," she said, getting down in the dust and hugging him gently around his neck.

The smile slipped from his eyes, and he sniffled for a moment before wrapping his arms around her. He gazed up at the sky even as his eyes swam and filled, before overflowing.

"Thanks, Pinks," he muttered, raising his other arm to swipe away the tears before he doubled down on the hug.

They laid there for a while, long enough that Spike had to suddenly raise a paw to shade his eyes as a piercing ray of light snuck between the houses to drill straight into his brain.

"Ugh, Mom's telling me to go inside Pinks," he muttered, sighing as she pulled away. He tried to sit up again but chuckled when he remembered that his spines were still buried in the earth. "Ah, I still need that hoof up, please?"

Giggling, Pinkie helped pull him up out of the ground before dusting some clods of earth off his spikes.

Sniffing, he blinked down at her radiant smile and returned a slighter version of his own.

"So, uh, I hear you have some pastries?"

With a burst of laughter, Pinkie nodded and helped Spike through the now-unlocked door. She led him to the chair nearest the register and pushed him up to the table it was beside.

"Ya want sweet, or filling?" she chirped, bouncing directly over the register and popping up behind it.

"A couple of small fillings, and a cup of coffee please," he ordered, pulling his coin purse out from beneath one of his scales on his legs. Squishing it lightly, he sighed before pulling out a five-bit coin and flicking it to Pinkie with a thumb.

"Stash the rest of that in the tip-jar of that cute waitress you have," he said with a bit of a smirk. "She deserves it."

Pinkie snorted and waved a hoof at him before doing just that, plink-ing the three coins into the milk-bottle the Cakes had set up beside the machine. Turning from the register she smacked a large button on the side of the coffee maker before continuing into the kitchen.

"I'm surprised you're not packed right now," Spike said, looking around the sparse dining room of empty tables.

"Well it's still a bit before normal opening hours," Pinkie called back, appearing with a couple of loaves of squat bread on a ceramic plate. "Plus our breakfast rush tends to be a bit later on Saturdays."

Spike's eyes narrowed above the bridge of his muzzle. "It's still Thursday, though?"

Pinkie paused, looking at Spike for a moment before her expression softened. "It's Saturday morning Spike," she said before pulling a heavy mug from the cupboard under the coffee machine. "You haven't been drinking since Wednesday, have you?"

"No, no," he said distantly, leaning back in the wooden chair. "I spent most of... I guess it was the first day, in my bedroom. Guess I lost track of time there, I-I thought Mac grabbed me the same night." He lifted a paw and scrubbed at his eyes, feeling light-minded and foggy and tired all of a sudden. "Wow. I guess I spent a while just laying on my bed."

He blinked when he heard a plate scrape over the tabletop, looking up to smile at Pinkie.

"Thanks," he said, grabbing a loaf and taking a bite to discover it to be a super-dense banana bread with slivered almonds. He reached out for the mug of coffee but found a tall glass full of milk instead.

"Coffee after a nap Spike," Pinkie said firmly, placing the heavy mug next to the register. "You can borrow my bed after you finish breakfast."

Spike pondered arguing the point until he took a sip of warm milk, sweetened with a spoon of honey and a bit of vanilla. Sighing, he snapped down the rest of the loaf and sipped at his glass. "Thanks, Pinkie, I think I could use that nap. You want the other half?"

"Sure!" she said, holding out her hooves when Spike stood up. He handed her the plate and chugged down the rest of the sweetened milk, before wiping the back of his wrist against his lip.

"You know where my room is?" Pinkie asked, waving a hoof at the stairs behind the counter.

"Uhm, third room on the left?" he asked with a smirk.

"No, silly," Pinkie chastised with an overblown roll of her eyes, "that's the linen cabinet. It's the fourth room, and it's on the right." She took a bite of the remaining loaf before waving it at Spike, gesturing to the stairs as he chuckled and walked up them.

As he topped the stairs he heard a sink turn off before a yellow stallion walked out of a door. He glanced at Spike, eyes widening for a moment before he recognized Spike.

"Oh, hey there Spike," Mr. Cake said, a bit surprised to see him in this section of the bakery.

"Hey there Mr. Cake," Spike said with a yawn. "I had a late night and Pinkie volunteered her bed," he explained, hiking a thumb over his shoulder and down the stairs.

"Oh, alright," the stallion said, nodding and smiling. "Have a nice, uh, rest, Spike."

"Thanks," Spike said before they squeezed past each other in the hallway.

Pinkie's room was easy to find, being nearly the last of five doors in the hallway and the last one on the left side. Poking his head in, feeling vaguely like he was trespassing, he still couldn't help but chuckle at her one-of-a-kind wallpaper and the balloons she kept tied to her headboard.

Walking over to the bed, he ran a paw over the thick purple blanket and yawned, reaching over and closing the curtain to the window before he laid down with his chin in a pillow that smelled vaguely of cinnamon and powdered sugar.

He reached for the corner of the blanket, planning on pulling it over himself, but found that his arm was simply too heavy to pull back. Yawning again, he blinked, blinked again, then found himself in warm limbo when he only got halfway through the last blink. After less than a minute, he began snoring quietly as the world passed on around him.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Spike came back to in a haze of headache and sleep, groaning quietly as the ambient light of the room seeped through eyelids he tensed and screwed as tightly shut as he could.

"Here," came a gentle voice and a light pressure, before a chilly glass cylinder was pressed into one of his paws.

Taking a chance, his faith was rewarded as cool water trickled across his dusty tongue, washing the taste of stale milk out of his mouth as he forced himself to take measured sips.

Swishing the last mouthful, he held the glass out and swallowed before he murmured a thanks as it was taken. Based on the thunk he heard, it was now on a bedside table.

"How long have I been out?" Spike managed to croak, now that his throat wasn't as dry as Twilight's favorite book.

"There's still time if you're tired," the soft voice murmured. "I just wanted to make sure you were hydrated."

"Thank you," Spike murmured, already surrendering to the drifts of sleep again.

"Don't worry about it," was the last thing he heard as he sunk back into the dreaming lands of Luna's domain.

He slept fitfully, his consciousness floating up into the waking world and noting a warmth radiating into his torso, a cold hoof on his thigh, a lock of hair tickling his muzzle before he bobbed back down for another momentary hour or so. The last time he felt himself floating up, he blinked and yawned widely as he heard a rooster far in the distance, likely one of Fluttershy's crew.

He moved to stretch his arms and legs but found one beneath something fuzzy and warm. His foggy mind discarded this information, electing to merely exercise the other three limbs.

He relaxed back into the pillow, the cinnamon scent still tickling his nostrils before his mind seized.

Slowly he craned his neck, raising his head above the quilt he had been laying on and now found on top of him.

As he moved slowly the pony he was currently spooning shifted and murmured in her sleep, pressing her back to his chest. Instinctively his free arm lifted and he ran his claws gently over the side of her neck, receiving a cooing breath and a smile from the pink muzzle poking out of the quilt.

He reached further this time and gently lifted the corner of the blanket, uncovering the sleeping face of Pinkie Pie. Her smile trembled and dipped for a moment, and Spike quickly lay the blanket back as it had been and watched her smile return.

She has really pretty eyelashes.

He blinked, then screwed up his face into a scowl. He was not the kind of guy to fly into another relationship as soon as one ended, especially not a relationship so sought after and so brief. Besides, Pinkie was his friend and deserved better than some loser ricocheting towards her after his first-ever girlfriend dumped him.

He simmered for a moment, before sighing and raising a paw to his chest, inhaling and exhaling with the movement of his arm a couple of times.

He laid there for a bit, just focusing on keeping his mind empty for a bit as he stared up at Pinkie's ceiling.

He wasn't given long to sulk though. Pinkie's job revolved around being awake early, and the steel alarm clock on her bedside table saw to that.

Spike flinched hard away from the sudden noise, barely having the time to be surprised by the earth-shattering noise coming from the two small bells on top of the machine before a hoof shot out and none-too-gently slammed the hammer back down into place.

Pinkie yawned as she turned in the bed, rolling onto her back and stretching her legs and neck all at the same time with a series of satisfying-sounding cracks of her spine and other joints.

She smacked her lips a couple of times, rolling onto her side and grabbing a glass of water and taking a sip before offering it to Spike.

Surprised, he felt himself take the glass and sip from it as well before passing it back.

"Hiya Spikey," she said sleepily, yawning again before rolling out of bed and walking over to her closet. "Did you sleep well?"

Spike rolled onto his back and slowly pushed down with his paws, pushing himself upright against her headboard as he sat upright. "Yeah, I think so," he said, a bit warily. "Waking up was a bit of a surprise. I'm sorry for making you share your bed last night."

"Oh, it's alright," she said as she pulled a padded mat out of her closet and unrolled it. "I don't mind sharing, and you're pretty warm as far as best friends go," she giggled.

He watched her stand on the mat before starting a series of stretches and poses he recognized from a foreign book he'd ordered for Twilight. "I guess I'm glad," he said, watching her stress each of her joints in new ways before saying, "Pinkie, this is a little weird, isn't it?"

Pinkie paused, looking at him over her shoulder with a playful smirk.

"Spike, the only things that are weird are only that way because we want them to be," she giggled, sitting on the mat and turning to face him more. "Do you want this to be weird?"

"No," he said, unsure of the word and the pony before him and himself and everything.

"Then it's not," she said with a shrug. "You're my friend, and you had a rough week, so I let you rest at my place. As long as you feel better, then my 'plan'," she said with air-quotes, "worked. Besides, you only grabbed my flanks once."

He flushed red, and she broke down into a fit of giggles.

Winking at him, she said, "Joking. You were a perfect gentlecreature."

"Won't Twilight be relieved," he said sourly, placing a paw over his rushing heart and trying to press it back into a normal pace.

Pinkie giggled before turning her back again and falling into another strange pose.

"So, is this how you start your day? A series of weird... flexes?"

With a small laugh, Pinkie said, "It's Yoga, silly."

They spent the rest of their wake-up talking about the book that had indeed been ordered by Pinkie Pie, a manual of sorts full of stretches and exercises that had been distilled from practices across the ocean, further even than Farasi. After a couple of more poses, Spike even joined in, finding the strange stretches more challenging to hold than he'd thought.

After about fifteen minutes of the exercise, Pinkie excused herself to go shower, and Spike was left alone with his thoughts for a bit.

They quickly turned sour, and he sighed before letting himself out of Pinkie's room.

His entire body froze as his eyes met Carrot Cake's, Spike's head barely out of the room. Mr. Cake immediately narrowed his eyes, but Spike quickly held out a paw.

"Wait," he said, pleading in his voice. "Nothing happened, I swear," he tried before Carrot snorted.

"Yer damn right nothing happened," he said roughly, before pulling in a deep breath. "Pinkie might seem a bit empty-headed, but she's smarter than that. That said," Mr. Cake said as he raised his eyebrows, "I'm still not overjoyed about Pinkie letting a stallion sleep in the same room as her. I trust her, but I'm not too sure about you," he said, nodding at Spike.

Spike scowled and started to talk, but shook his head and tossed out the bile he'd almost regurgitated. "I understand," he said instead, shaking his head and taking another deep breath. "That said, I'd never take advantage of a mare in her sleep. I'm not that sort of creature, that sort of," his mouth twisted into a bit of a snarl, "that sort of monster."

Carrot flinched and frowned, saying, "I didn't say..." He trailed off, frowning. "I didn't mean to say that," he said instead before frowning. "Sorry Spike, I really didn't mean that."

Spike kept the frown for a moment before he flipped it into a small smirk. "Neither of us are morning creatures, huh?"

Cake chuckled, pressing a hoof between his eyes. "Isn't that a truth," he said with a nod.

Spike sighed, waving a paw through the air. "No worries," he said, a bit tiredly. "Does your kitchen run off the same water pipes as the living space?"

Frowning, Carrot shook his head.

"Great, then I'm gonna go downstairs and start a pot of coffee if that's alright?" he asked.

"Sure," Carrot said with a chuckle. "Good stuff's in the top of the flour cupboard, next to the ovens."

Spike nodded. "Will ya call me when Pinkie's out? I'd like to grab a rag and get a quick cowpony shower," he asked, heading down the stairs.

"Ya could just use the shower?" Carrot called after him, quietly.

"Scales," Spike said, pointing at his arm as he kept walking. "I don't get as gross as anycreature with fur does. Not nearly as quickly, anyway."

He heard a snort from behind him, and he chuckled as he headed downstairs and into the kitchen. Sighting the duo of ovens, he wandered over and proceeded to shuffle through the cabinets nearby, making sure to keep everything where it was as he pawed through the top shelves. Finding a tin canister he popped the top and took in a noseful of darkly roasted coffee beans.

Frowning, he looked around the counters nearby and found a magically powered grinder. Giving it a sniff he found the same deep smells of cinnamon he'd been breathing all night.

"That's our spice grinder," came a voice behind him, nearly startling him enough to drop the machine.

Turning, he found a smiling sky-blue mare with her flowing rose-colored mane trailing down beside her muzzle instead of its usual puffy swirl.

"Carrot will get mad if you have our cinnamon rolls coffee-flavored this morning," Mrs. Cake said with a chuckle as she trotted up and pulled a smaller grinder from the cupboard beneath the one in his paw. "Here ya go dear."

"Ah," he said, placing the larger machine back where he'd picked it up and taking the smaller one, "thank you. Uhm, do you have a personal coffee maker as well, or is it the same one out front?"

"Hmm, well," she said with a glance at a large clock on the wall, "we can use that one if we're short on time, but I think we've got enough time to be nice with it. Here," she said, pulling out a strangely shaped glass carafe and a kettle. Placing the carafe on a scale, she handed the kettle to Spike. "Get this nice and bubbly, and I'll get started on a batch of dough for the bread we'll need."

Mrs. Cake coached him through a slightly more intricate process than he was used to for coffee, having him set the grinder to a certain fineness, measuring the temperature of the water before he started pouring, even measuring in weight the amount of water he added to the pot.

By the time he was finished Mrs. Cake had stopped the massive machine that handled the main bit of dough the bakery sold and walked over to him and producing four mugs.

"Alright, go ahead and put the grounds in the compost, and we'll see how everything came together."

Spike opened the back door and disposed of the grounds in a large bin for just such a purpose. "Filter too?"

"Mhm."

Spike tossed in the large sheet of paper and closed the door behind him, walking over to where Mrs. Cake was rinsing the pot next to four perfectly poured cups.

Spike glanced around the kitchen for a sugar bowl before shrugging and picking up a mug, holding it before his face and breathing in the steam.

"Whoa," he said, blinking and taking in a deeper breath.

"Right?" Mrs. Cake said with a giggle, placing the glass carafe into a drying rack before picking up her own mug. "It's touchier, but it's worth it."

Spike took a sip, humming at the flavors of dark chocolate and almost almond tones as he swirled the coffee around his mouth. "Wow," he said, taking another, larger drink. "I was gonna ask for sugar, but..."

"Doesn't need it," Mrs. Cake said, almost cockily. "We source these beans and roast them ourselves, as a bit of extra income and so that we can have a cup that tastes this good," she said, lifting her mug.

Gazing across the kitchen, she continued, "It was a bit tricky at first, but ever since we got it down we've received a few customers just after our coffee bags.

"Like that marefriend of yours," she said lightly, sipping from her mug. "Miss Rarity's been ordering almost since the beginning."

Spike froze, his eyes staring into the deep, dark cup. They reflected the raw sorrow he felt as he said, "She isn't my marefriend, anymore. Not since Thursday morning."

He heard Mrs. Cake breathe in sharply before he felt her hoof come to gently rest on his arm.

"I'm sorry Spike," she said.

"It's okay, I don't expect many ponies know yet," he said hollowly, turning his head to give her a mechanical smile.

Her expression shifted further into sorrow as he met her eyes. Reaching up and taking his coffee cup, she placed both mugs down onto the counter before she shakily stood up, putting her legs around his shoulders and pulling him into a firm hug.

At first, he limply placed his paws on her shoulders, wondering emptily what she expected from him before his chest started to tighten, along with his eyes. His head dipped as she held him closer, his muzzle pressing between his palms.

He began to sniffle, and Mrs. Cake just held him tighter.

"I get it, you know," he said, wondering why he was talking. "It was just a silly childhood crush on my end, I was really happy to just get the opportunity to have a couple of serious, actual dates with her. And she was really nice the whole time, I really think she gave me a fair shot, but..."

He hiccuped as Cup Cake held him, making soft noises of reassurance as he started to break down into sobbing tears.

"But she said that she wasn't 'clicking' with me," he said, his legs giving out as he sat in front of the soft mare and gripped her tightly. "She didn't feel that spark, Mrs. Cake," he said softly. "She couldn't feel that spark that's kept my fire for her alight for the last ten years."

"And it hurts," she said softly, patting his back gently.

Spike sniffled, wiping his nose on the back of his wrist as he nodded, hot tears dripping in steady streams from his eyes.

"It hurts so much," he said, before dissolving into a heap of salt tears and open, wounded heart.